18-year-old, who ran off with Dalit youth leading to her father committing suicide, appears in court

Two days after she eloped with a Dalit youth and her father committed suicide, R. Vishnupriya, a resident of Jagannathapura Chatram in Tiruvallur, appeared in court and said she did not want to return home.

Speaking at the court of the Judicial Magistrate – II in Ponneri on Thursday, the 18-year-old said she was afraid she would be killed by her family and opted to stay in a government institution.

On Tuesday, Vishnupriya’s father S. Ravi killed himself after she had eloped with Ranjith (18), a Dalit youth. Residents of the village had staged a road roko near Karanodai following the incidents.

Vishnupriya, accompanied by a group of advocates, appeared before the judicial magistrate, S. Maheshwari, around 10.30 a.m on Thursday.

The Sholavaram police had launched a search for her and her boyfriend based on a girl missing case registered by Ravi a few hours before he committed suicide. “Vishnupriya told the magistrate that she had gone to stay with a female friend of hers in Anna Nagar but that was misinterpreted by her father, resulting in the tragedy,” said advocate S. Raja, who represented her at the Ponnerri court.

The court heard arguments from all the concerned parties, including the family members of the girl and asked her whether she wanted to go back with her family.

As Vishnupriya did not want to do so, Ms. Maheshwari said that Vishnupriya should stay at the government home in Kelleys at Purasavakkam and continue her education from there. Vishnupriya is a second-year engineering student.

Court appearance

The magistrate also said that she should appear in court every fortnight until the final order is passed.

Police said that Ravi, a member of the Vanniyar community, who worked as a caretaker in a marriage hall in Jagannathapura Chatram ended his life by consuming brandy mixed with poison.

He was afraid of the reactions from his community after his daughter ran away with Ranjith, a resident of Athipedu Colony, 3 km from Jagannathapura Chatram, police said.

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