A tragedy from “God’s Own Country”, the murder and alleged rape of a 30-year-old dalit law student in the Perumbavoor area of Ernakulam district has caused outrage in the entire country. Drawing similarities with the Nirbhaya case of Delhi, it has created a strong movement against rape in the state of Kerala with slogans of #JusticeForJisha trending exceedingly.
While the police has identified three suspects in the investigation, two have been taken into custody on Tuesday. They will be interrogated by the police force, headed by Ernakulam Range IG Mahipal Yadav. However, one can’t be certain that these residents from the victim’s neighborhood are culprits. Almost 5 days after the incident, the lack of solid leads for this brutal tragedy highlight the ill-equipped expertise and insensitive nature of the authorities towards victims like Jisha, facing rape and sexual assault everyday.
Last Thursday, the dalit student of LLB at the Ernakulam Government Law College was found brutally murdered in the confines of her home. Autopsy revealed severe head injuries, assault with a sharp object and harm to internal organs. Yatish Chandra, Ernakulam Rural SP has been quoted as saying, “It is a case of violent murder. Though the post-mortem report suggests chances of sexual assault or rape, we are waiting for a few laboratory results to confirm the same. We have ruled out chances of theft as the woman hailed from a very poor family.” The dalit girl was found in a dreadful state after her mother returned home after manual labor, late in the evening of 28th April, 2016.
Latest medical reports show a new dimension, confirming rape and torture with a sharp instrument that pierced her intestines and uterus. 30 wounds have been noted in the inquest report. The sharp object used for mutilation has been recovered by the police, and is awaiting forensic confirmation.
Meanwhile, there have been three separate investigation teams working along with the Ernakulam and Perumbavoor authorities, and many state authorities have pledged to ensure that justice is given to the girl, and the culprits are caught. On Tuesday morning, women activists had taken out protest demonstrations in front of the Secretariat pointing out the importance of “system of neighbourhood vigil and increased police vigil where vulnerable sections of society”, as the crime was done in the confines of the victim’s home. Widespread protest from women activists, women media persons and women politicians could be seen in the state.