Abhaya Case: Church Defends Accused

By M G Radhakrishnan
India Today

December 5, 2008§ionid=22&issueid=31&Itemid=1

The church establishment continues to defend the three accused—two priests and a nun—arrested in connection with the sensational Sister Abhaya murder case even after the CBI has revealed that they have all pleaded guilty in the killing of the 21-year-old nun 16 years ago.

The accused—Fr Thomas Kottoor, Fr Jose Puthrikkayil and Sr Sefy—are in CBI custody now. All the three have said to admit to the charge under duress by the CBI.

The Vigilance Committee formed by Knanaya Archdiocese have charged the CBI with ulterior motives in implicating the priests and the nun. "There is a clear attempt to vilify the church and community," said the committee in a statement.

Opposing the bail applications of the accused the CBI revealed to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam that the three had together clubbed the nun on the head inside the convent and dumped her into a well in the early hours of May 27, 1991.

"The young nun had accidentally seen some untoward incident going on inside the room of third accused," informed the CBI. Sr Sefy has also told the Magistrate that she was forcibly subjected to Virginity test by the CBI.

Now the National Minorities Commission too has come in defence of the accused sister. Sister Jessy a member of the commission has protested against CBI's subjecting her to Virginity test without permission.

Though all the three have complained of mental harassment by the CBI during their interrogation, they have denied any kind of physical torture. "We were put up in air conditioned rooms, were provided food, they washed our clothes. But we were not allowed to see sunlight even for a minute" told an accused priest to the court.


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