[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] major conspiracy involving the CPI(M) and the Church to annihilate the Hindus in Kerala has come out in the open through a brilliant piece of investigation carried out by a team of journalists from Janmabhumi, a popular Malayalam daily published from Kerala.
The tip of the iceberg was the Supreme Court quashing the death penalty given to beggar Charly Thomas aka Govindachamy. Charly Thomas, an infamous criminal and muscleman of a syndicate specialising in deployment of beggars all over south India was arrested in connection with the rape and murder of Sowmya, a Thrissur girl.
The fast track court in Thrissur where the trial took place awarded death penalty to Charly Thomas as the prosecution successfully proved that Sowmya’s was a rape and murder case.
The murder which shocked the entire State of Kerala, described as God’s Own Country by even atheists and Communists, occurred on February 1, 2011. Sowmya who was working as a salesgirl in one of the supermarkets in Cochin was on her way home at Thrissur in Ernakulam Shornur passenger train when Charly Thomas got into the woman’s compartment and tried to rape her. When Sowmya, who was all alone in the compartment resisted the assault, Charly Thomas attacked her brutally and threw her out of the running train. He also jumped out of the train and saw that Soumya was lying unconscious and bleeding profusely.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]C[/dropcap]harly Thomas carried the 23-year-old- girl to the nearby bushes and raped her brutally and assaulted her physically in a manner similar to the attack on Nirbhaya in New Delhi. Later, people who came across Sowmya lying unconscious took her to the nearest hospital where she succumbed to injuries on February 6.
The fast track court in Thrissur where the trial took place awarded death penalty to Charly Thomas as the prosecution successfully proved that Sowmya’s was a rape and murder case. In addition to its proof to substantiate the role of Charly Thomas in the case, the prosecution brought to the attention of the court that the accused was involved in two dozen cases of rape, murder and robbery in various States on south India and had been convicted in eight cases.
The Fast Track Court on November 4, 2011, sentenced Charly Thomas to death penalty describing the rape and murder of Soumya as a rarest of rare case and the accused as a hard core criminal who would be a perennial threat to civilised society.
The Kerala High Court upheld the trial court’s verdict in spite of the fact that the accused Charly Thomas had fielded a battery of legal brains from the Supreme Court led by Biju Antony Aloor, a lawyer with connections to the underworld.
Why she (Dr. Shirley Vasu) was called as a witness itself is debatable since the post mortem has been conducted by Dr Unmesh and Dr Rajendra Prasad…
By the time the appeal against the death sentence came for hearing in the apex court, the ruling UDF government had been voted out in the 2016 assembly election and the CPI(M)-led LDF government with Marxist leader Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in. A series of shady deal saw the side-lining of the public prosecutor who appeared in the trial court as well as the High Court.
In the appeal filed in apex court many relevant documents, which established that Sowmya’s murder was caused by the serious injuries inflicted on her by Charly Thomas, were suppressed. The post mortem report submitted by senior forensic surgeon Dr Unmesh and his junior Dr Rajendra Prasad said that Sowmya died because of the serious injuries she suffered in the head.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he case took a curious turn when Dr. Shirley Vasu, the then head of the department of forensic sciences, Thrissur Medical College, too was included in the case as a witness. Dr Vasu, a Christian by faith and an active evangelist, submitted another report with the claim that it was she who conducted the post mortem of Sowmya.
While the defence counsel could not counter the arguments made by the prosecution in the trial as well as the high courts, situation underwent a major change in the apex court with the Pinarayi Vijayan government replacing the government lawyer and the standing counsel who had argued the case in the trial court and high courts.
The valid points furnished by Dr Unmesh and his junior were ignored while the version given by Dr Shirley Vasu was driven home by the defence counsel. The finding of the Supreme Court was that Charly Thomas had raped Sowmya but she died because of the injuries she suffered while falling from the running train! The prosecution failed in convincing the court that Charly Thomas deliberately pushed down Sowmya from the train which has been proved by the trial court.
According to Dr V Deckal, veteran forensic surgeon, whose words are always considered as the last words in medico-legal entangles like this, the role of Shirley Vasu in this case could be that of a pro-defence witness. “Why she was called as a witness itself is debatable since the post mortem has been conducted by Dr Unmesh and Dr Rajendra Prasad,” Dr Deckel told Pgurus.com.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he most revealing part of the case is that Charly Thomas, Dr Shirley Vasu and the lawyer Biju Antony Aloor are all members of the institution Birds in the Sky, an evangelist organisation claiming to be specialists in rehabilitating beggars. But the job of Charly Thomas was in deploying beggars in the Coimbatore-Ernakulam zone depending on their ability to mobilise more funds. He also acts as a hired goonda for certain political parties and business barons to finish of their respective rivals.
How a beggar like Charly Thomas could field some of the best legal luminaries in this case remain a mystery. The role of CPI(M) politburo member M A Baby, who was critical of the death sentence awarded by trial court and high court has exposed the party’s vested interest in saving Charly Thomas. Though Kerala Minister for law A K Balan said the government would file a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging the quashing of the death sentence, legal experts laughed it off terming it as proof of the minister’s ignorance.
The question being asked in legal circles in Kerala is that why did the CPI(M) government replaced the legal team appearing for the prosecution when the case reached the Supreme Court?
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