Candle Light Condolence Meet for Nirupama Pathak
Candle Light Condolence Meet
Friends and loved ones will all gather at India Gate on Saturday,
May 8 at 6:00 pm to hold a candle light condolence meet for our friend and journalist Late Nirupama Pathak who became the victim of honour killing and lost her life.
Nirupama's friends would gather under the banner of the group 'Justice for Nirupama'.
For further details: please contact Anand Saurabh (9555384473), Ranveer Singh (9990476926) , Himanshu Shekhar (9891323387), Ridhima Malhotra (9891844887)
Background: On March 2, Nirupama received a letter (now available in public domain) from her father Dharmesh Pathak in which he had asked her not to marry Priyabhanshu Ranjan, her batchmate at IIMC.
She should not marry someone who doesn't follow the "Sanatan Dharma", Dharmesh had written, adding such marriage does not last long. Besides, her relation with her parents, relatives and the society will be severed forever. He had advised Nirupama to think twice before marrying a man from different caste.
As per the information available so far the incidence of Nirupama Pathak's death took place on 29th April around 10 am in the morning but the police was informed at least 18 hours later. Nirupama was a 22-year-old journalist with the Business Standard. It has emerged that it is a suspected 'honour killing' by her family. On April 28, Priyabhanshu Ranjan, her batchmate had talked to her on phone. Her tickets back to Delhi were also cancelled by the family.
Nirupama's family is claiming that she was found hanging from the ceiling fan and that she had also left behind a suicide note.
Nirupama was all set to marry Priyabhanshu Ranjan, her batchmate from and a journalist. Both studied in Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). Nirupama had decided to secretly marry Priyabhanshu at an Arya Samaj temple because her family members were opposed to the marriage.
Sudha Pathak mother of Nirupama it appears, had called one of her three brothers- a contractor, Bharat Bhushan Pathak. His role in the incident is under probe.
Sequence of events that has emerged as of now points out that Nirupama was smothered and later her body was hanged from the ceiling fan. It appears that at least three persons were involved in the killing.
On 3rd May, the mother of Nirupama was arrested on suspicion of having a hand in the death. She was arrested under sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 120 b (criminal conspiracy) based on circumstantial evidences after post-mortem on 22-year-old Nirupama, Koderma SP G Kranthi Kumar said. She has been remanded in 15-days judicial custody by the chief judicial magistrate court.
On 4th May, the police in Koderma, Jharkhand have dragged the Medical Board into the case. The SP of Koderma has said that the medical board handed over the body of Nirupam to her parents without their permission.
Nirupama's brothers, Samrendra Pathak and Salil Pathak too seem to have played some role in the incident.
On 4th May, the Jharkhand State police submitted a detailed report regarding Nirupama Pathak to the National Commission for Women (NCW). Director General of Police (DGP) Neyaz Ahmed said that the report consisted facts which suggest that Nirupama did not commit suicide but was murdered in cold blood. The Commission, chaired by Girija Vyas, had sought the report from the State Government on 3rd May.
Earlier, the Commission was approached by friends of Nirupama and concerned individuals from IIMC and senior journalists like Ram Bahadur Rai who had submitted a memorandum to Mrs. Girija Vyas, Chairperson, National Commission for Women.
The Commission has also urged the Government to put the case in a fast track court so that there could be no delay in delivery of justice. He said that more intricate details, which would clear the dust of doubts from the case, would be in the form of the report of the Forensic Science Laboratory team (FSL). “The report of the FSL is expected to arrive within eight to ten days after which things will be almost clear. Meanwhile, the report consisting of details about the incident has been sent to the NCW today,” Ahmed said.
Kodarma SP Kranti Kumar said three police teams have been formed to probe Delhi, Mumbai and Gonda (UP) angles. Nirupama's elder brother works in the Income Tax department in Mumbai while her father is an employee of the Punjab National Bank in Gonda.
Police sources said that the team of doctors at the Sadar Hospital in Kodarma, who had conducted Nirupama's postmortem, did not care to preserve her viscera or the foetus.
“The investigation is running on this angle too. Why didn’t the doctors do that when it was a case of an unnatural death (UD). The suicide note of the girl, which we have recovered, will be sent to a handwriting expert for verification. The investigations are on in full swing," said the police.
The police first doubted the mother of the deceased when she had changed her statement twice. On one occasion she said that Nirupama died due to electrocution. Next, she said that she had died after hanging herself. Police said that when she was found hanging, only the mother was present in the house.
“But our sources tell us that her brother and father had taken leave form their respective offices the day she died. It is very different and almost impossible for a 52-year-old woman to strangulate someone who is as young as 23. The teams which we are sending will clear the doubts. This question needs to be answered as to who else were present along with her mother the day she died,” police sources said.
Meanwhile Priyabanshu said that Nirupama had told her elder brother about their relationship in February, 2010 after which her family was consistently pressurising and torturing her mentally.
Ranjan said that she had got a call from her brother who asked her to come down immediately as her mother had broken her backbone in an accident. “She told me that she knew they were lying. But then she went as she was a dutiful daughter," Ranjan said.
“They never called me up but used to call her constantly asking and threatening her to leave me as I am from a different caste. She had said that her family was very orthodox and so she broke the news of our relationship to her elder brother. But even he did not support her."
On May 5, the case took a fresh twist after it was found that the medical board that carried out the postmortem, did not preserve Nirupama's viscera samples.
The Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) on May 5, described the "honour killing" of a Delhi-based journalist as a "dastardly act" which was "shocking and reprehensible".rs
"The IWPC has taken serious note of the killing of its fellow journalist and would like to initiate a debate to prevent occurrences of such dastardly acts which are reflective of a deep-rooted social malaise," it said in statement.
On May 6, the police said, inept handling of the case by the medical board that conducted the autopsy was a setback to the probe. Investigating officials said medical officers showed unnecessary haste in disposing of the body. “As there is no physical evidence of the body, we are left to rely on circumstantial evidence to crack the case,” said Superintendent of Police, Koderma, G. Kranthi Kumar. “We received the post-mortem report on May 2, two days after the body was handed over to the family.”
On May 6, Bharat Bhusan Pathak, maternal uncle of Niurpama was interrogated.
Latest report suggests, Priyabhanshu Ranjan's mobile has been seized by the police. "The family members of Nirupama had given her mobile phone without the SIM card. The card can play an important role in solving the mystery as we can access to her call details and the messages she would have sent the day before her death. That is the reason we have seized Priyabhanshu's phone in order to know their conversation on the day the girl was killed. The last message was sent around 5.39 am by Nirupama," said a Jharkhand police officer.
Visuals accessed by Headlines Today showed injuries on the forehead of Niurpama.
Manjari, a fellow journalist asks, "what was so wrong with the decision that this journalist took? Okay, she was not an “ideal Indian middle class daughter” as she went away for studies and had a boyfriend, but did she deserve to be killed? That girl was financially independent and the man she was in love with was also independent. They both were adults and could have easily married at court, but still they were looking for their parents’ agreement and the boy is surely thinking now that they should have better tied the knot without even informing her parents."
She adds, "What’s the lesson that middle class working daughters or any girl learns from this incident? That elope with your boyfriend, parents would never understand that we are living in 21st century now and it’s high time that we should shun this caste bias They would never understand that “love marriage” is not a bad idea, it is any day better than arranged marriage with a huge dowry. It is love and understanding that matters at the end of the day!"