Delhi journalist Nirupama Pathak, suspected to have been avictim of honour killing, had sent an SMS to her boyfriend Priyabhanshu Ranjan on the day she died that her family members had locked her in a bathroom at their house, the boy's father claimed on Sunday.
"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 at their house," Ranjan's father Ramashankar Kanth, who is in Darbhanga, told PTI.
Nirupama's mother, Subha Pathak, who was arrested lastweek in connection with the case, was released on parole for three days to attend the post-death rituals. Koderma Jail Superintendent Martin Ranjan said that she was allowed to go to her Jhumritilaya home to attend the 'shradh' rituals following a local court's permission. Subha attended the 10th day ceremony which was held amid police presence. Subha had on Friday petitioned Chief Judicial Magistrate N K Agarwal to allow her to attend the 'shradh' of her daughter.
22-year-old Nirupama 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 under mysterious circumstances. At the behest of Nirupama's family, a case of rape and abetment to suicide has been filed against Priyabhanshu. But Kanth said Nirupama's family was trying to implicate his son to save their skin. "My son is innocent. He is no way involved in the case," Kanth, a resident of Kaiderabad Mohalla in Bihar's Darbhanga town said.
The post-mortem report said Nirupama died due to smothering and that she was pregnant. A 10-12 week-old foetus was found during the autopsy. It has been claimed that Nirupama and her boyfriend Priyabhanshu Ranjan were planning to get married but her parents did not approve of the match because he belonged to a lower caste. They were batchmates from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi and were all set to get married on March 6 at an Arya Samaj temple in Delhi. In one of the SMSes made by Nirupama on the fateful day, she told her boyfriend that have patience and that shewould try and get back. She also told him not to take any extreme step.
Meanwhile, the doctors, who had performed post mortemon Nirupama, petitioned Deputy Commissioner Rajiv Arun Ekka urging him to direct the police to question them at Sadar Hospital and not at the Tilaya police station, police said. The doctors moved the DC after the police allegedly summoned them to Tilaya police station for questioning on Saturday. Police said the Koderma police superintendent G Kranthi Kumar visited Nirupama's residence and quizzed her father Dharmendra Pathak, brother Samarendra, a Mumbai based Income Tax Inspector, and other family members for over four hours. Some neighbours were also questioned in connection with the incident. A police team led by senior police officer Shiv Prakash Singh, who was sent to Delhi to interrogate Ranjan, was in touch with Delhi police, the police said. A detailed investigation report will be submitted tothe court of the chief judicial magistrate soon, officials said. Kanth charged Nirupama's father and other members ofher family with levelling false allegations against Ranjan,also a journalist based in Delhi.
Kanth said Ranjan had told him about their plan to marry and the family 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.
Meanwhile, Jharkhand DGP Nayaz Ahmed today said the state police is pursuing the Nirupama death case seriously. "It (Nirupama's death) is a serious issue. The state police is vigorously pursuing the case and will get to the bottom of the case soon," he told reporters in Ranchi.