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Police file charge sheet in Jisha rape-murder case

Police file charge sheet in Jisha rape-murder case

Kochi: A special investigation team (SIT) of Kerala Police Saturday filed the charge sheet in a court here in the sensational rape-and-murder case of a Dalit woman at nearby Perumbavoor in April, three months after the arrest of a migrant labourer.

The charge sheet, submitted in the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court, named Ameerul Islam, a native of Assam who was arrested in June, as the lone accused in the case and charged him with offences, including rape and murder.

Ernakulam Rural SP PN Unnirajan, a key member in the SIT headed by ADGP B Sandhya, said the charge sheet was submitted after conducting a "scientific and technical probe".

The accused has been charged under various sections of the IPC, including 449 (house-trespass), 376 (punishment for rape), 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), besides relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, he said.

Unnirajan said the police, which collected 125 pieces of documentary evidence and around 75 exhibits, succeeded in building "a strong case" against the accused and filing the charge sheet within the 90-day mandatory period.

There are 195 witnesses in the case, he added.

"The SIT formed by the new (state) government probed the case very well," Unnirajan told reporters at Aluva.

Ameerul, a migrant labourer from Assam, was arrested on June 16, 50 days after the gruesome murder of the 30-year-old law student which became a major issue in the run-up to the Kerala Assembly election in May.

The woman, hailing from a poor family, was raped and brutally assaulted with sharp weapons, before being murdered at her residence on April 28.

The rape-and-murder case was in focus during the Assembly polls campaigning with the opponents attacking the then UDF regime for the "tardy" progress in the investigation and failure to nab the culprit.

The LDF government, after coming to power in the state on May 25, had changed the constitution of the investigating team and entrusted the probe with ADGP Sandhya at its first Cabinet meeting itself.

Police had said a blood-stained chappal (slipper), found from a canal near the victim's residence, was one of the key pieces of evidence in zeroing in on the accused.

A DNA test conducted on the saliva found from the bite mark on the victim's back, the blood found on the chappal and the lock of her room had confirmed the involvement of only one person in the crime, they had said.

Over 100 police personnel were involved in a "scientific" probe into the incident. They questioned over 1,500 people and went through over 20 lakh telephone call records before zeroing in on the accused.

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