Family refuses to bury Pawan as 'murder suspect'
The family of Pawan Kumar Anjaiah, 26, the IT professional from Bangalore found dead in the US on June 19, says it will not perform his last rites until it received documents absolving him of the charge of murdering his friend, Danielle Mehlman.
Kumar’s body is to be flown to Bangalore on Sunday, the Ministry of External Affairs notified his family on Friday. The cost of bringing the body, said to be $8,000, is being borne by the Ministry and not Anjaiah’s employer, Cognizant Technology Solutions.
His father, A Anjaiah, has been given a form by the MEA to sign, authorising it to fly the body out of the US.
Probe reports sought
The family says it will not perform the last rites until it received the investigation report of Kumar’s death as well as his personal writing about Mehlman.
The company should get all the documents, his uncle K P Gopalakrishna said. Else, the family would stage a protest keeping the body in front of the company’s office, he said.
The family believes Kumar was framed for the murder of Mehlman who was said to have been dating him.
“She would text him, send him e-mails, and chat with him on Facebook. Pawan’s laptop also contains information about their relationship,” Gopalakrishna told Deccan Herald.
“We want all these records so that his name is cleared and he can be given a respectable funeral.”
Besides, the full and unbiased investigation records of the US police, including a three-page suicide note left by Kumar, be made available, he demanded, adding that the family had changed the earlier idea of not accepting the body when it arrives in the City.
“We were not keen to accept Pawan’s body as he faced charges of murder. We do not want to bury him as a murder suspect.
The incident has shattered not just us, but the whole country, as an Indian citizen is accused of killing a foreign woman on a foreign land,” Gopalakrishna explained, adding that the decision was changed “as a mark of respect” to the Government of India.
The Congnizant staffer’s family, however, says that it is unhappy with “indifference” of the company.
“If the company does not take responsibility and help us go about the whole process, we will file a case against it,” Kumar’s uncle said, revealing that a lawyer was being consulted to ascertain if a parallel probe can be sought to find if the techie had been framed.
Kumar was found dead mysteriously in a room at Belleville Motor Lodge in Belleville, New Jersey, just a few days after Mehlman was found murdered on the first floor of the motel.
The Delaware police had issued an arrest warrant against Kumar for Mehlman’s murder.