Slain scribe’s boyfriend quizzed, case filed against him

Posted by on May 7th, 2010 and filed under Crime/Disaster/Accident, Immigration/Law/Rights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Ranchi/New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) A Jharkhand court Friday directed the state police to lodge a first information report (FIR) against Priyabhanshu Ranjan, boyfriend of Delhi scribe Nirupama Pathak who died under mysterious circumstances at her home in Jharkhand April 29. He was later questioned in New Delhi.

In Ranchi, Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) N.K. Agrawal directed police to lodge an FIR against Ranjan under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sexually exploiting Nirupama Pathak, misleading her for marriage and forcing her to commit suicide. The order was issued on a petition of Nirupama’s mother Sudha Pathak.

In her petition, Sudha charged Ranjan with sexually exploiting Nirupama by alluring her with promise of marriage.

As soon as the order came, a joint team of Jharkhand and Delhi Police questioned Ranjan in New Delhi for over seven hours about his relationship with the scribe.

Police from Koderma district, Jharkhand, had also interrogated Ranjan in New Delhi Thursday night for five hours and reportedly seized his mobile phone. Police also took possession of clothes and other belongings used by Nirupama in Delhi.

‘He was questioned for over seven hours at the Pushp Vihar police station. He was asked various questions about Nirupama and their relationship,’ a close friend of Ranjan told IANS.

Nirupama’s mother, who was arrested May 1, was released on a three-day bail at the directive of the Ranchi court.

Nirupama’s family insists that she committed suicide. But the post-mortem examination revealed she was smothered to death and that she was 10-12 weeks pregnant.

The family has admitted that they were opposed to Nirupama’s planned marriage with Ranjan, her former batchmate at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). The family members have also alleged that Ranjan was influencing the probe and a rape case should be lodged against him.

Nirupama’s father Dharmendra Pathak and brother Samrendra are both government officers working in Gonda and Mumbai, respectively. They are also being questioned in what some believe to be a case of ‘honour killing’.

Koderma police have also interrogated Kedar, who is Nirupama’s maternal uncle. Kedar is a contractor in Bihar’s Bara district and he was reportedly against Nirupama’s marriage with Ranjan.

On Thursday, K.P. Singh, one of the three doctors who conducted the autopsy on Nirupama, said he did not have the requisite qualification to conduct the post-mortem examination that he had conducted for the first time in his career.

According to police sources, the three-doctor team that conducted the autopsy did not mention the time of death of the journalist. They also did not preserve the viscera and foetus which was important for further investigations. The foetus could have disclosed the identity of the father.

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