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Sr Abhaya murder: CBI files chargesheet
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
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May 19, 2008 10:04 IST
Last Updated: May 19, 2008 16:49 IST

Sixteen years after a teenage nun's mysterious death made the headlines in Kerala [Images], the Central Bureau of Investigation has charged two priests and a nun with the crime.

The CBI has filed a chargesheet in the Sister Abhaya case against the two priests and a nun of the St Pius X Convent in Kottayam. The Bureau alleges that one of the priests bludgeoned Sister Abhaya to death after which the trio dumped her body in the convent well on March 27, 1992.

The CBI chargesheet is based on revelations made by the accused in a narcoanalysis test conducted at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Bengaluru.

The chargesheet also mentions influence exerted by several top bureaucrats to hush up the case.

A CBI officer told that an investigation into this aspect of the case would be conducted and action initiated accordingly if the bureaucrats are found to be guilty.

The chargesheet alleges that witnessing her superiors in a compromising position proved fatal for Sister Abhaya, who was 18 years old at the time of her death.

Sister Abhaya, a resident of the convent, woke up at 4 am that fateful day. According to the CBI chargesheet, she went into the kitchen to drink water before attending the morning mass.

In the kitchen, the chargesheet alleges, she saw a priest and the nun, a senior staff member at the convent, in a compromising position. The chargesheet claims she also saw a second priest standing guard outside the kitchen.

When Sister Abhaya screamed in shock on witnessing the incident, the chargesheet alleges the first priest hit her with a blunt weapon he had picked up in the kitchen. After the teenage nun collapsed, the CBI chargesheet alleges the trio dumped her body in the convent's well.

Convent staff discovered the body the next day.

The Kerala police initially declared Sister Abhaya's death a suicide. After the nun's family made representations to the state government, alleging foul play, the administration handed the case over to the CBI.

The accused were initially subjected to a narcoanalysis test in Ahmedabad. A second test was conducted at the Bengaluru laboratory after the first test was discovered to be inconclusive.

During the Bengalaru test, the trio reportedly confessed to committing the crime, following which the CBI filed the chargesheet. The Bureau has filed an interim report on the case to the chief judicial magistrate, Kottayam.

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