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Eye-Witness Daughter

Story of murder and its sole witness

Ramankutty, over 50, coconut palm climber, is a habitual drinker.  His climbing work finishes before one o’clock after which he straight goes to toddy shop as is usual by almost all coco-climbers (present day climbers go to foreign liquor bars instead of going to toddy shops).  He usually drinks 4 bottles at a stretch and returns home imbalanced.  If he has excess money in hand he revisits the toddy shop in the evening by around 6 and sips two bottles.

One day when he was returning home after the first trip to the toddy shop his lonely brother’s (younger) wife Thanka was standing in the front courtyard of her house which is close to Ramankutty’s house.  He suddenly picked up a quarrel with her.  Only three or four words exchanged between them, he drew the coconut chopper from his waist and fanned against her.  Her three-fourth cut neck with head-on hanged towards front.  Blood   sprayed out in pressure all around like a water filled pipe line burst.

The only witness to the gruesome murder was his younger daughter aged 8.  The shaken Ramankutty vanished with the chopper.  He threw the chopper into a rivulet on his way to an undecided hiding place.

Police nabbed him 3 months after from a distant place and charged for murder.  The only prosecution witness was his 8 years old daughter.  The case prolonged for 4 years.    Defence counsel had tutored the girl to say in the court that she has not seen her father chopping Thanka.  In the witness box the girl negated the tutoring and said she saw by her bare eyes her father chopping the aunt.

He was awarded life term.  He became an acute patient in the jail.  The sickness gained him 3 years remission in jail term and his sons (two) brought him home on release.  He died after 3 days of reaching home.  His daughter still stood the ground and did not repent her witness-box exposition. 

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