Even though investigators are yet to crack the sensational death of two Konni girls who went missing from July 9, a top police officer's immature speculation has drawn flak from all sides.
During a press meet, IG Manoj, who is heading the investigation, claimed that the death of Athira R Nair (17) and S Raji (16), whose bodies were found on a railway track near Malankara-Lakkidi in Palakkad on Monday morning, could be a case of suicide even though the reasons are not clear.
Following this, the girls' relatives and locals slammed the investigative officer for coming up with a primary inference, even before taking statements from the 17-year-old Arya K Suresh, who is undergoing treatment in Thrissur Medical College Hospital.
"Even if there are financial issues in my family, I don't think the other two girls have any issues at home. One of the girls' father is in Dubai. Also, I am sure that our friends and well-wishers would help our family in a critical situation. So I am sure my daughter would not commit suicide due to family issues," Raji's mother told reporters.
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While neighbours and relatives of the deceased speculate that their involvement in a sex racket or social media connections lead to their death, doctors said that the girls were not subjected to sexual assault. Police have also ruled out one of their Facebook friends' role in the incident.
While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the IG said that police could not trace any leads from the girls' social media profiles. Meanwhile, latest reports suggest that the case will be investigated by ADGP Sandya, who will take the statements of the girls' parents.
According to the sources at the hospital, Arya is in a ventilator since her condition has deteriorated.
What police have found so far
The girls left their homes on Thursday as though they were heading to school. Though they planned to go to Delhi from Chengannur, they got down in Mavelikkara after getting in to another train. One of the girls even called another girl's mother using a shop owner's mobile phone.
From there, the girls reached Ernakulam by bus and went to Bengaluru. Police had recovered three tickets from a bag they were carrying, which was later found from Island Express, hinting that they had visited Lal Bagh Botanical Garden on Sunday.
According to the shop owner in Mavelikkara, the girls were stressed and were not in their school uniform.
The teenage girls had a tablet phone, which they used with a sim card bought using one of their neighbour's ID card. The investigative officers are yet to find the tablet and assume they have sold it.
Police also believe that the girls were travelling for four days as they failed to find a place to stay.