Why he withheld the fact is under investigation

The heart-rending suicide note, believed to have been written by E. Ilavarasan, the Dalit youth who was found dead along the railway track in Dharmapuri on July 4, was found in his trouser pocket, police said on Tuesday.

A local resident, Manickam, known to the aggrieved family, admitted to investigators that he had taken the four-page note before the Railway Police could reach the spot. The reason why the man kept the fact under wraps for at least 48 hours is under investigation, police sources said.

Though the handwriting in the note appeared to match Ilavarasan’s own, forensic opinion would be sought through the court to confirm it. “The contents clearly indicate that only Ilavarasan could have written that note. It seems to have come from the heart...and not to be penned under pressure or threat,” a senior police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

Hours after photocopies of the note were circulated among relatives and friends of the Dalit youth, police managed to get the original. “We tracked the movement of the note backwards till the actual source…the statements of those concerned have been recorded,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the South Western Railway has reiterated that there was no run-over in Dharmapuri on July 4. Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, Anil Kumar Agarwal told The Hindu that the driver of Coimbatore-Mumbai Kurla Express had not given any such message.

“The driver has not given any message. The message of a death was reported by the Patrol Man. The body has only head injury…it has no other damage of the run-over kind. It is possible that he (the victim) came from the side and the driver might not have noticed,” he said.

Asked whether the drivers of two other trains which passed that way had noticed the body of Ilavarsan lying along the track, Mr. Agarwal said nobody had given any message. Had the body been lying between the tracks, the driver would have given a message. “Considering the speed of the train, if a person is lying near the track, it would be difficult to know whether he is sleeping, lying or dead.

The driver would know if someone jumps before the train or stands there purposely to be hit by the train,” he said.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National