'Nirupama was bolted in bathroom by family members'

'Nirupama was bolted in bathroom by family members'

"My son had informed me on the day Nirupama died that he received an SMS from Nirupama that her mother, father and brother have bolted her inside a bathroom in their house," Ranjan's father Ramashankar Kanth told PTI.

This provided enough indications that she has been murdered by her own family members, Kanth said. Her family members were levelling false charges against Ranjan "in order to save their skins", he said, expressing shock at the registration of a case of rape and abatement to suicide against his son.

"My son is innocent. He is no no way involved in the case," Kanth, a resident of Kaiderabad Mohalla in Bihar's Darbhanga town, said.

Kanth charged Nirupama's father Dharmendra Pathak and other members of her family with levelling false allegations against Ranjan, also a journalist based in Delhi.

A case of rape and abetment to suicide has been filed against Ranjan following a court order after charges levelled by Nirupama's mother who has been arrested.

Kanth said Ranjan had told him about their plan to marry and they had no problem with the inter-caste marriage. "We believed that nothing will happen as both of them are journalists. But what happened thereafter has shocked us," he said.

Kanth, a state government employee posted at a block office, said he was in favour of an impartial and independent probe to reveal the circumstances leading to her death.

22-year-old Pathak, who was working for a business daily in Delhi, was found dead on April 29 in her parents' house in Tilaya in Koderma district of Jharkhand. Her mother Subha claimed it was a case of suicide. However, the post-mortem report revealed that Pathak died due to asphyxia as a result of smothering. A 10 to 12 week-old foetus was also found during the autopsy.

Suspecting the death to be a case of honour killing, the police had arrested Subha.

Nirupama and Ranjan were planning to get married but her parents did not approve of the match because he was from a lower caste. They were batch mates at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi.