New Delhi: Finally after 28 years, a special CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram will deliver the verdict on the infamous murder case of Sister Abhaya whose body was found in a well inside a convent in 1992. Also Read - MP Woman Axes 8-month-old Son to Death, says 'Baby was a Goat, Sent Him where he Belongs'
The 19-year-old Catholic nun was found dead at the St Pius X convent in Kottayam district of Kerala on March 27, 1992. The case was initially closed by the local police and the crime branch after they declared it as a case of death by drowning. Later in 1993, the case was handed over to the investigating agency, after human rights activist Jomon Puthenpurackal formed an Action Council and took the matter to court. The turnaround in the case happened after Puthenpurackal, managed to get the case reopened, following which the 13th batch of CBI officials cracked the case and on November 19, 2008. Also Read - Throat Slit, Body of 16-year-old Girl Found in Rajasthan's Barmer; Police Suspect Rape
Facing trial in the case are Catholic priest Thomas M.Kottur (first accused) and Nun Seffi (third accused) among others. The second accused in the case — another Catholic priest Jose Poothrikkayil, however has been discharged by this court in 2018. Also Read - Badaun Gangrape Case: Accused Temple Priest and Accomplices Remanded to Police Custody
CBI officials arrested the three accused, including Poothrikkayil, a former Malayalam professor at the Kottayam college where Abhaya studied; Kottor, the Diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam and Seffi, a resident of the convent when the incident took place. However, on January 1 2009, all three accused got bail.
According to reports, the case trial has gone on for so many years that several of the 177 witnesses have either died or turned hostile.
On the night of March 27, 1992, Abhaya allegedly saw Kottoor and Sephy in a compromising position, following which the three accused hacked her to death with an axe and threw her body into the well, CBI had said in its chargesheet.