THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A retired professor of BCM Women’s College, Kottayam, told the CBI Special Court hearing the sensational Abhaya murder case that Fr Thomas Kottoor had behaved indecently with female students.
She said there were talks in the college that he and Fr Jose Poothrikkayil, an accused who was later discharged by the CBI court due to lack of evidence, were behind the nun’s murder.
Thresiamma was the Malayalam teacher of Abhaya at the BCM College where Kottoor and Poothrikkayil also worked as lecturers. Thresiamma said Kottoor used to stare at students legs making them uncomfortable.
She added Poothrikkayil, who also worked in the Malayalam department, used to talk to all of them before the incident.
But after Abhaya’s death, he became reticent.
Though the needle of suspicion was pointed at the priests, then Bishop Kuriakose Kunnassery had protected them.
“Kottoor was once the private secretary of the Bishop,” she said.
Thresiamma said on the day of Abhaya’s death, she had gone to the convent to see the nun’s corpse. The body was kept near the well and was covered by a shroud. Fr Poothrikkayil lifted the shroud to let the professor see her student’s face. Thresiamma said there was a wound above her upper lip and right side of the nose.
Thresiamma said Fr Poothrikkayil behaved like a custodian of the place.
The retired professor said after Abhaya’s death, Poothrikkayil fell from his scooter a few times and broke his limbs.
“There was a talk among us that it was Abhaya’s soul that was doing all these things,” she said.
When news relating to Abhaya’s murder began appearing in newspapers later, college authorities first removed the pages carrying the story before displaying them in the college library, she said.
with defence counsel seeking more time, Thresiamma’s cross-examination will be held on October 1.