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After week of lapses in Kerala murder, officer removed

A police officer has been removed from the team investigating the savage rape and murder in Kerala of a law student whose body was found with wounds and bite marks, her intestines hanging out.

Sources say the Deputy Superintendent of Police of Perambavoor was removed on account of “procedural lapses” after the 30-year-old woman was found murdered last Thursday.

The investigation team has also been expanded to 24.

The student’s home in Perambavoor, 200 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, was cordoned off only on Tuesday, six days after she was killed.

A sketch of the suspect was released by the police yesterday but no one has been arrested eight days after the crime that has been compared to the 2012 fatal gang-rape of a Delhi student on a moving bus.

The police initially filed a case of murder. As gruesome details of the state of her body emerged in the past few days, triggering outrage across the state, a rape case was also filed.

The student had allegedly been stabbed 30 times and her back was covered with bite marks.

Friends of the law student say that the police tried to “cover up” the crime to prevent an embarrassment for the government ahead of state polls on May 16.

Activists allege massive lapses that may have weakened the search for the attacker. Many protested on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, black handkerchiefs covering their mouths.

The woman’s mother reportedly told officers that she had complained for nearly a year to the police that she was being harassed, but was ignored.

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