The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail applications moved by prime accused in the 2017 Walayar case involving rape and possible murder or suicide of two minor Dalit sisters in Palakkad district [Madhu Alias Valiya Madhu v. Central Bureau of Investigation]..Single-judge Justice P Gopinath noted that after investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) has filed the final report and therefore, the accused can move the trial court for bail. "Having regard to the fact that the final report has already been filed and the fact that the petitioner in one of the Bail Applications also faces allegations of having committed offences under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 I am of the view it is for the petitioners to approach the jurisdictional court for bail", the order stated.The Court, therefore, deemed it appropriate to reject the bail application preferred by the three accused..In January, 2017, the older of the two sisters involved in the unfortunate tragedy, aged 13, was found hanging inside her home at Walayar, by her younger sister, aged 9. The 9-year-old informed the police that she had seen two men leave the house that day and the parents claimed their daughter had been murdered. However, the police registered a case of unnatural death.Shockingly, 52 days later, in March 2017, the younger 9-year-old sister, was also found hanging in the same house. Protests and public pressure led to the arrest of five accused in the case - Madhu alias Valiya Madhu, Madhu M alias Kutti MadhuShibu, Pradeep Kumar M and a minor who was 16-years-old at the time of committing the offence. The fourth accused Pradeep Kumar allegedly died by suicide in November 2020.Post mortem reports of the girls disclosed that they were subjected to rape before their deaths. This led to the police surmising that they had committed suicide due to the trauma from the multiple instances of sexual assault committed on them by the accused.However, this was vehemently opposed by the family of the girls. In October, 2015, a court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act acquitted V Madhu, M Madhu and Shibu for lack of evidence on October 25. The court had acquitted Pradeep Kumar, earlier for the same reason.This led to much public outcry, protests and several allegations, especially from opposition parties, against the CPI(M) led LDF government which was accused of shielding the accused. Soon thereafter, the State government appealed against the POCSO court’s verdict and sought a direction from the High Court to call for the records of the case, set aside the lower court judgement and convict the accused for the offences or order an investigation into the crime.The girls’ mother, with the support of an organisation of Dalit and human rights activists, also approached the government seeking a reinvestigation. She also approached the High Court demanding an inquiry by the CBI..In January, 2021, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court of Justices A Hariprasad (now retired) and MR Anitha quashed the acquittal of all the accused men directed a re-trial of all the cases. .Later, upon consideration of the State Government's recommendation for a probe by the CBI, the court ordered the central agency to take up the investigation. .By this time, the protests against the inaction had reached a fever pitch with multiple dharnas, satyagrahas and hunger strikes conducted by the family and social welfare organisations.The girls' mother, V Bhagyavathy, even contested the 2021 Assembly Elections against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan from Dharmadam..Earlier this year, the CBI filed two separate case before a Special POCSO Court and also booked the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST (Prevention fo Atrocities) Act. All the accused, except Kutti Madhu who was granted bail, were incarcerated.Therefore, three of the accused, Valiya Madhu, Shibu and the minor, approached the High Court seeking bail.