There were nail marks on Abhaya’s body, says photographer

Photographer Varghese Chacko, who worked in a studio in Kottayam, said he handed over 10 photographs with their negatives to the police.

Published: 04th September 2019 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2019 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

Sr Abhaya, Sister Abhaya

The body of Sister Abhaya, a resident of the Pius X Convent in Kottayam, was found in the well of the convent compound on March 27, 1992.

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Giving further ammo to the prosecution stand in the Sister Abhaya murder case, the photographer who snapped the pictures of the deceased nun told the CBI Special Court that he had noticed nail marks on either side of her neck and those were featured in the photos that later went missing from investigators.  

Photographer Varghese Chacko, who worked in a studio in Kottayam, said he handed over 10 photographs with their negatives to the police. The photographs were received from the studio by a cop named Varghese. Barring six long shots, the rest of the four close-up shots later went missing, he said. Chacko was roped in by the police to take photographs of Abhaya’s corpse after it was recovered from the well in St Pius X Convent. Chacko said the studio owner was confused as to whom the photos should be handed over. The nuns from the convent had sought the service of the photographer, while the cops too were seeking photos.

“The owner’s brother called Crime Branch SP KT Michael to clear the confusion. He was told that the photos belonged to the police. Later, a  bill to the tune of `200, printed on the letterhead of the studio, was handed over to the mother superior of the convent and she paid it,” Chacko said.
To a question from the defence lawyer Raman Pillai, Chacko said during the polygraph and brain-mapping test conducted at Bengaluru, he told that he did not see any wounds on Abhaya’s body while taking pictures. 

He also said he did not see any injuries on Abhaya’s head. Her mouth was not agape nor was she clenching her teeth when he saw her body, Chacko added.

Earlier, the defence counsels managed to find fault with some of the statements given by social activist Kalarcode Venugopalan Nair. During witness examination, Nair had said that Father Thomas Kottoor had confessed to his crime in their second meeting. 

However, during cross-examination on Tuesday, he said the confession happened on their first meeting. Inconsistency was also noted in his other statement. During witness examination, he said Kottoor had asked him to file a Public Interest Litigation against narcoanalysis test before the priest was subjected to it. While crossed by the defence counsels, he said Kottoor made the request after he was subjected to a narcoanalysis test.


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