Cops grope in the dark in Nanditha case

Unanswered questions make 14-year-old girl's death a knotty affair

Cops grope in the dark in Nanditha case

The police investigating the Nanditha death case have an unenviable task ahead of them in uncovering the mystery. They will have to tread carefully as they come across one contradiction after another and several unanswered questions.

The death note, reportedly found by police in the schoolbag of the girl, made the claims of the parents weaker. However, parents have denied that it was written by their daughter. The forensic report is awaited.

T G Krishnappa, the girl’s father, recounts the sequence of events on October 29. “As usual, she boarded the bus from Balebailu to the government high school five km away. After alighting at the nursery of the forest department, she waited for her friend. At that moment, a boy known to her came there in a red car and spoke to her. The two unknown boys came from behind and took her into the car by force. Later, she was taken to Anandagiri Hill (seven to eight km from that spot).”

Police said that the place he is mentioning is generally crowded and close to the main gate of the high school. If the ‘abduction’ as the father claims, is true, passersby would have easily noticed it. It was 10 am, a busy time of the day.

Krishnappa said, “Of the three boys, she knew only one and his name is Sohan, the brother of the girl’s schoolmate Farhan at St Mary’s School, where she studied till class 7. The other two boys are not known to her. The prime accused is not yet nabbed.”

Eye-witnesses Chandramma and Jayamma said, “We don’t know what happened at the hill. The girl called us ‘aunty, aunty’ from the hilltop, when we were heading home after collecting firewood. She sought drinking water. We asked her to come down. Later, we took her to our house. She stated that she was forced to consume some substance containing poison by three boys at the hill. Her father later took her home.”

The big question that has troubled police is that was she really forced to consume poisonous substance? If so, how she could remain normal till night. After knowing that their daughter was forced to consume poison, why did the parents not take her to the hospital immediately?

According to the father, the girl was taken to the Jayachamarajendra hospital in Thirthahalli early in the morning on October 30, after she complained of vomiting the previous night.

According to District Health Officer Nagaraj Naik, Dr Girish, who treated the girl, said, “She was battling for life. So, he asked the parents to take her to McGann hospital in Shimoga after first aid.” The doctor was expected to inform police after being told that she was forced to consume poison. But he did not do so. It was a dereliction of duty on his part, said Naik.

She reached McGann hospital in Shimoga at around 4.30 pm. Dr Ranganath reportedly treated her there. She spent that night at McGann hospital. Sources in McGann said that the parents were keen to take her to the KMC Hospital in Manipal. The doctor also favoured it, to avoid complications.

According to the police, McGann has all the required facilities to handle such a case. What prompted the parents to take the girl to Manipal in that state? She was admitted to KMC at around 12.15 pm on October 31. She died at 3.30 pm. The complaint was lodged at the Thirthahalli police station at around 11.30 pm.

According to the treatment certificate issued by Dr Sunil C M, additional professor of paediatrics, KMC Hospital, she died of cardiac arrest at 3.30 pm. The report said that there was no evidence of sexual assault. The final post mortem report is awaited.

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