KOCHI: The CBI has taken over the probe into the suspicious death of Shreya Benny, a 12-year-old Alappuzha native. The Class VII student was found dead in a pond in Alappuzha in October 2010.
The move comes after a long legal battle.
Though CBI probe into the girl’s death had been sought in 2011, the bureau had expressed its inability to take over the investigation citing staff shortage. In September this year, the High Court directed the CBI to take over the probe.
The case had been first registered at the Alappuzha South police station and the probe was handed over to the Crime Branch in 2014.
“The FIR of the case has been registered at the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. E P Suresh Kumar, DySP, CBI Special Crime Branch, Kochi, will probe the case. Soon, statements of the deceased girl’s relatives and also the persons charge-sheeted by the Crime Branch will be recorded,” said a CBI officer.
Shreya, the daughter of Benny, studied at St Antony’s School in Alappuzha. She had been attending an awareness camp from October 15 to October 17 at the Accept Kripa Bhavan, Kaithavana, an institution under Archdiocese of Changanassery. On October 16, Shreya, who had gone to sleep after dinner, was found missing. In the subsequent search, her body was found in a pond near the institution, around 80 m away from where she had slept.
The postmortem report attributed her death to drowning. The Crime Branch, which took over the investigation, filed a charge sheet listing Fr Mathukutty and Sr Sneha Maria, the in-charge of the institution, as accused. IPC Section 304 (death by negligence) was charged against them.
However, the High Court, while considering a petition filed by Kalarcode Venugopalan alleging the Crime Branch investigation was not proper, decided to quash the Crime Branch charge sheet and asked the CBI to take over the probe.