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Priest denied bail in Abhaya murder case

National, Wed, 03 Dec 2008 IANS

Kochi, Dec 3 (IANS) Father Jose Putarika, a priest accused in the 1992 murder of Sister Abhaya, was denied bail by the Ernakulam chief judicial magistrate court here Wednesday as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said its probe was drawing to a close soon.


The counsel for the CBI told the court that the murder probe was nearing conclusion and that the two priests and a nun arrested were the culprits and that they have scientific evidence against them.



Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel, was found dead in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.



On Nov 19, the 13th team of the CBI set up to probe the case - after 12 earlier teams failed - arrested Putarika, 56, a former Malayalam professor at a Kottayam college where Abhaya studied; Father Thomas Kottor, 61, the Diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam; and Sister Seffi, who was a resident of the convent when the incident took place.



The CBI had Tuesday told the court that Abhaya was hacked to death with an axe by the three accused.



Counsel for the CBI Anil Kumar said that the three hit Abhaya with an axe after she saw something that may have been unbefitting of them. The court was told that the two priests struck down Abhaya, while Seffi helped them throw her body into the well.



The magistrate had Tuesday sent the priests and the nun to judicial custody till Dec 16.


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