From suicide to murder: Timeline of Sister Abhaya case

From suicide to murder: Timeline of Sister Abhaya case

A priest and nun in Kerala have been found guilty of murdering a nun at a convent in Kottayam district In the state 28 years back. 

Sister Abhaya, aged 21, was found dead in the well of the St Pius X convent in Kottayam on March 27, 1992. Knanaya Catholic priest Thomas M Kottoor, who was the first accused, and Sister Sephy, who was the third accused, were found guilty by the CBI special court in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. The sentence would be pronounced on Wednesday.

Here is the timeline of the incidents in the case

1992 March 27: Sister Abhaya aged 21, daughter of Thomas and Lellamma of Kottayam, was found dead at Kottayam Pius X convent  She was a second-year pre-degree student of Kottayam BCM College.

31 March 1992: Action council led by human rights activist Jomon Puthenpurackal formed alleging of an attempt to scuttle the probe

15 May 1992: Action council demands CBI probe and then Chief Minister K Karunakaran recommend CBI probe

Also Read | Kerala: Priest and nun found guilty in 28-year-old Abhaya murder case

30 January 1993: Kerala police crime branch concludes probe stating that it was a case of suicide

1993 March: CBI files another FIR, Dy SP Varghese P Thomas leads the probe

31 December 1993: Dy SP Varghese P Thomas seeks VRS citing pressure from CBI SP to conclude that it was a case of suicide. MPs from Kerala raise the issue in Parliament.

1994 June: New CBI team constituted

1996 December: CBI stated before the court that though it was murder, accused could not be found out. But court orders further probe

1999 July. CBI again seeks closure of the case

2000 June Court again orders further probe

2005 August: CBI again seeks closure of the case

2006 August: Court again orders further probe

2007 May: CBI constitutes a new team

2008 November: Team led by CBI DySP Nandakumar Nair takes over probe

2008 November: Three accused arrested - Thomas Kottoor, Jose Poothrikkayil and Sephy

2018 March: Jose Poothrikkayil discharged

22 December 2020 : Thomas Kottoor and Sephy found guilty