Protesters demand reopening of Sowjanya’s murder case

Protesters demand reopening of Sowjanya’s murder case

July 18, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: A massive protest was held in the city yesterday demanding justice for Sowjanya, a student who was raped and murdered 11 years ago. Under the banner of the Pragatipara Sanghatanegala Okkoota (Federation of Progressive Organisations), the protest was organised by Odanadi Samsthe (NGO) and other progressive organisations.

Marching through the city, from Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry to Gandhi Square, protesters demanded that the culprits responsible for the heinous act be brought to justice. They also pressed the Government to reopen the case.

The shocking incident unfolded in October 2012 when 17-year-old Sowjanya, a II PU student, disappeared while returning home from college in Ujire, Dakshina Kannada district. The discovery of her severely violated body at Mannasanka, near Dharmasthala, sent shockwaves through the community.

In response to intense protests, the case was eventually handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). However, after an arduous 11-year legal battle, the CBI Court recently acquitted the accused, Santhosh Rao, due to a lack of substantial evidence.

The protesters voiced grave allegations against Police, accusing them of deliberately destroying evidence. They also expressed their deep anguish and frustration as Sowjanya’s parents faced devastating losses with the acquittal of Santhosh Rao, who is believed to be mentally unstable. Protesters said that the law must not allow culprits to evade justice.

During the protest, Stanley of the NGO stressed the dire need for justice. He declared, “As responsible citizens of this country, it is our duty to condemn this incident. We will not rest until justice is served. We are unwavering in our determination to uncover the truth and ensure that real culprits are thoroughly investigated and held accountable. We urge the Chief Minister and Home Minister to reopen the case and initiate a comprehensive reinvestigation.”

Sowjanya’s mother Kusumavathi too participated in the protest, expressing her pain and frustration over the prolonged quest for justice. Sanjay Rao (the brother of Santhosh Rao), former Rangayana Directors C. Basavalingaiah and H. Janardhan, Parashuram of the NGO, retired VC Dr. Sabeeha Bhoomigowda, State SDPI President Abdul Majeed, Dalit leader Battaiah Kote, Prof. Kalachannegowda and others took part.


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