28 Years After Crime, 2 Convicted In Sister Abhaya Murder Case

The 21 years old nun Abhaya was murdered and her body was dumped inside the well of a convent in Kottayam in 1992.

Today, a special CBI court in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram delivered its verdict in a 28-year-old case of a nun’s murder and held a priest and a nun guilty of killing her. The 21 years old nun Abhaya was murdered and her body was dumped inside the well of a convent in Kottayam in 1992.

Father Thomas Kottoor was convicted in the case. He was a Vicar and taught Sister Abhaya psychology at Kottayam’s BCM College. Kottoor was also Secretary to the then Bishop. He later became Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese in Kottayam.

Sister Sephy, another convict, stayed in the same hostel as Sister Abhaya and was de facto in-charge of the hostel.

Both have been found guilty of murdering the nun and destructing the evidence. Father Thomas Kottoor has also been convicted of house-trespassing. The quantum of punishment will be delivered tomorrow.

According to NDTV, human rights activist Jomon Puthenpurackal, the lone surviving member of the panel that fought to pursue justice in the murder case, said: “Sister Abhaya’s case has finally got justice. She will rest in peace. This is a classic example of how no one should think that just because they have power – money and muscle power – they can de-rail justice.”

Sister Abhaya, as per the CBI, was witness to intimate contacts between Kottoor, another Father, Jose Poothrikkayil, and Sephy on March 27, 1992, as she went from her hostel room to the kitchen at around 4.15 AM.

The accused, between 4:15 AM and 5 AM, hit Sister Abhaya with a blunt object and threw her body into the well to cover-up the crime.

Poothrikkayil, one of those initially accused, was acquitted two years ago by a special CBI court. However, discharge petitions of the other two – Kottoor and Sephy – were rejected.

Initially, the police and crime branch labelled the incident as “death by suicide”. However, after protests and petitions, the case was transferred to the CBI.

First three final reports by the CBI were rejected by the court that wanted a more thorough investigation.



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