Eight months after the mysterious death of Kerala girl Mishel Shaji Varghese, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case told the Kerala High Court on Thursday, November 9, that the 18-year-old committed suicide.
According to SIT reports, Mishel, who hails from Ilanji in Piravom, took the extreme step of killing herself due to mental stress and depression.
However, Mishel's family members strongly believe it to be a clear case of murder.
A day before the girl was found dead near a wharf on Willingdon Island in Kochi on March 6, 2017, the aspiring chartered accountant had visited St. Antony's Church in Kaloor. The CCTV footages reveal that she left the shrine at 6:15 pm and is assumed to have gone to Vallarpadam bridge, from where she jumped into the Vembanad lake.
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According to the autopsy report, she drowned and preliminary investigation had also suggested it to be a case of suicide as no suspicious marks or wounds were found on her body.
Many celebrities, including Nivin Pauly, Tovino Thomas, Aashiq Abu, Jude Anthony Joseph, Unni Mukundan, Anupama Parameshwaran, Kunchacko Boban, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Aju Varghese, Rima Kallingal, Krishna Prabha, Rajith Menon, Vijay Yesudas, Neha Saxena, Lalu Alex, Parvati Nair, Adil Ibrahim, Jino John, Srinda Arhaan and Shebin Benson had then come forward demanding justice for Mishel.
A week after her death, the investigators had arrested a suspect, Piravom-native Cronin Alexander Baby, 26, for allegedly compelling Mishel to get into a relationship with him.
Following this, the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced handing over the case to Crime Branch.