Dharmasthala: Amidst hundreds of supporters Kusumavathi, mother of Sowjanya, who was killed and raped eleven years ago in Ujire near Dharmasthala, offered prayers at Annappa Swami Hills in Dharmasthala on Sunday.
Sowjanya, then a II PU student was raped and killed in Ujire in October 2012. Her body was found in severely ‘violated’ condition at Mannasanka, near Dharmasthala sending shockwaves among the people. While the CID recently gave a clean chit to the lone accused, her mother Kusumavathi is fighting for her daughter’s justice.
On Sunday, Kusumavathi went in a padayathra from Nethravathi to Annappa swami Hills in Dharmasthala. Joining her were members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists. Tension prevailed for a while at the hills as villagers of Dharmasthala refused Kusumavathi and others to enter the hills. A verbal duel broke out between the two groups forcing the police to intervene. Dakshina Kannada district superintendent of police Rishyanth C B intervened and allowed Kusumavathi and a few of them to enter the Hills and offer prayers.
While seeking justice for her daughter and punishment to the perpetrators, Kusumavathi broke in front of the deity. She later gathered herself and offered prayers at the Annappa swami Hills.
In a significant move, after Kusumvathi, Mallik Jain, Uday Jain and Dheeraj Kella – who were earlier accused in the incident and were let off – too offered prayers at the shrine. They told the gathering that they have nothing to do with Sowjanya’s case as they have been cleared of all charges by the court. If need arises, they will co-operate with the future investigation, too, they assured.
Interestingly, BJP legislators led by BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel have now demanded a reinvestigation into Sowjanya’s case. They held a protest in this regard in front Belthangady Taluk Panchayat premises, on Sunday.