Thiruvananthapuram: The main accused in the case of a woman who was brutally murdered and her body mutilated at Perumbavoor near Kochi in Kerala has denied committing the crime.
Ameerul Islam, accused of murdering 30-year-old law student Jisha in April this year, told the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court on Tuesday that he had no role in the murder and that it was his friend, Anarul Islam, who murdered Jisha.
Ameerul’s statement came when he was produced before the court for considering his bail application. The court, however, postponed hearing of the bail application to Monday.
Ameerul’s brother, Badarul Islam, had made a similar statement on Tuesday.
Observers say that the statement by the accused is to confuse the prosecution’s case that Ameerul had single-handedly committed the crime.
The accused came to Kerala from Assam as a migrant labourer and has been charged with rape, murder, destruction of evidence and atrocity on a Dalit woman, among others.
Following the murder, Ameerul is believed to have fled Kerala to Assam and then to different places, before Kerala police nabbed him from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The shocking murder had also turned out to be a devastating blow for the prospects of the previous United Democratic Front in the assembly elections. The inability to nab the culprit is believed to have weighed on voters’ minds when they went to the polls in mid-May, a fortnight after the crime was committed. The UDF was soundly defeated in the assembly poll.
Jisha had suffered nearly three dozen injuries and she was knifed in her private parts, and the murder triggered a wave of sympathy for the victim’s family and turned intense media limelight on the case.
The denial by the accused of any role in Jisha’s murder has also raised concern in the state whether Ameerul will escape conviction in the case.
Only last week, India’s apex court had given life imprisonment in place of death penalty for one Govindaswamy who was convicted in the rape-murder of a young woman, who was on a train journey.
The court felt there was no proof whether the victim, Soumya, had jumped off the train or Govindaswamy had pushed her out of the moving train. The ruling triggered intense media debate in the state.