Amid criticism over delay in arresting culprits in the brutal rape and murder case of a Dalit woman, Chief Investigating officer Dy.S.P. Anil Kumar was on Thursday removed and a new official appointed to head the probe team.
A. B. Jijimon was today appointed as the new chief investigating officer in the case, while Anil Kumar will continue in the team, police said.
Yesterday, police had released the sketch of the suspect in the case.
The woman, who hailed from a poor family, was allegedly subjected to rape and brutal assault using sharp edged weapons before being murdered at her house at nearby Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district on April 28. A post-mortem had revealed 38 big and small wounds on her body.
No arrests have been made in connection with the case, though three persons have been picked up for questioning. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition leader V. S. Achuthanandan had visited the mother of the victim at Perumbavoor Taluk Hospital, yesterday.
Chandy had dismissed reports that the case had weakened following the delay in arresting the culprits and assured that government would spare no efforts in bringing the culprits to book. Government later in the day announced a solatium of Rs ten lakh to the bereaved family and a job to the woman's sister.
CPI(M) veteran V. S. Achuthanandan attacked the government and demanded that a new probe team be constituted while BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan flayed it for delay in arrest of the accused.
With police failing to make much headway in the case even after a week of the gruesome incident, there was widespread criticism over the alleged shoddy manner in which the probe was being held.
The shocking incident also had its echo in Parliament yesterday with members demanding "exemplary punishment" for the culprits while the state government assured stern action. The issue had its echo in both houses of Parliament yesterday.
BJP member Meenakshi Lekhi said if death penalty had been given to those convicted in the Nirbhaya case that shook the nation, "fear of law would have gone into the minds" of potential criminals.
In the RajyaSabha, Deputy Chairman P. J. Kurien had described the incident as "most shameful for every Keralite" while the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it had "crossed all limits and was inhuman".