Mother held in 'honour killing' of Delhi journalist

Mother held in 'honour killing' of Delhi journalist

Nirupama Pathak (23) was found dead three days ago under mysterious circumstances as her father, brother and mother gave conflicting reasons. The mystery death took a dramatic turn on Monday as the Jharkhand police arrested the victim’s mother, Sudha Pathak.

Police suspect that Nirupama was a victim of “honour murder.” Nirupama, a Brahmin, was said to be in love with a college batchmate Priyabhanshu Ranjan who belongs to Kayastha community from neighbouring Bihar. She was said to be in her early stage of pregnancy and was intent on marrying the friend much against the wishes of her parents.

According to the police, the family of Nirupama was opposed to the relationship and was against their proposal of marriage which was to take place in March. However, they had asked her to wait.

Koderma district Superintendent of Police G Kranti Kumar said: “The arrest of Nirupama’s mother was made on the basis of  circumstantial evidence. Her father and brother were also interrogated in this connection.” The mother faces murder conspiracy charges, he said.

“In the course of our interrogation, we found that the statements given by family members were conflicting. While her mother said she died due to electrocution at home, other family members produced a suicide note to show that Nirupama had committed suicide,” the police officer said. The alleged suicide note said that “nobody should be held responsible for my death…”

The post-mortem report said Nirupama was smothered to death,” investigating officer Rajeev Ranjan told Deccan Herald.  Nirupama had come to her home at Tillaiya in Koderma district, about 200 km from Ranchi on April 19. She, however, was found dead on April 29.

The police said Ranjan had last spoken to Nirupama on April 28 and later spoke to her parents who reportedly told him that she had been electrocuted.  Nirupama had gone to her native place as she got a call saying her mother was not well. She left Delhi on April 19 and was to return on April 29.

As Nirupama’s death sent shockwaves among scribes in the national capital, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday sought a report from the Jharkhand Police over the alleged killing.

“We have sought a detailed report from the Koderma district police about the death of the girl,”  NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said. The case should be sent to a fast-track court so that the culprits are punished, she added.

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