Usually, there will be at least two opinions for an issue in Kerala. But in the murder case of Soumya, the whole state stood as one and wanted the Govindachami, the prime accused to be punished. The court too agreed with the public and awarded capital punishment to the Soumya rape and murder case accused Govindachami. When the Thrissur Fast Track Court judge K Ravindra Babu announced the punishment on 11 November 2011, the huge crowd waiting outside welcomed it with crackers. The youth wing of both Left and Right parties raised slogans against the accused.
According to the prosecution, Govindachami had assaulted 23-year-old Soumya in an empty ladies' compartment on February 1 this year and pushed her out of the running train, immediately after it left the Vallathol Nagar station. He then carried her to a spot along the rail tracks and raped her 'cruelly and brutally'. She succumbed to death on February 6. A native of Virudhachalam in Tamil Nadu, Govindachami had been convicted in eight cases in Tamil Nadu from 2004 to 2008. He is punished on the charges of murder, rape, robbery causing severe injury and criminal trespass.
Though the capital punishment for the accused will never matches the pain that Soumya suffered. However, it will be a relief for her family members despite the fact that nothing can replace the loss of their dearest daughter. Also, it will be a moral for those who don’t respect the dignity of women. It seems Govindachami is taking next step and going for an appeal in higher courts. If the capital punishment for this person is cancelled, it can shatter people’s faith in judiciary. Hope the higher courts too go with the public.
Soumya is now a symbol of the insecurity and assaults that the female community of Kerala endures in their daily life. Let her soul rest in peace and may other ladies lead a peaceful life with a belief that judiciary will be there to guard them!