Dispute with school mate alleged to have driven him to suicide

Tense scenes gripped Namakkal after M. Mohanraj (16), a plus-one student of Kurinji School, was found hanging from the ceiling fan at his hostel room late Friday night.

Initially, police registered a case under Section 174 (death under suspicious circumstances) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and then altered it to Section 306 (abetting suicide) of the Indian Penal Code after investigating the parents’ allegation that their son was driven to suicide because of a dispute with his school mate.

Police said that before they reached the hostel, the body was brought to the Namakkal Government Hospital by some persons from the school, heightening the parent’s suspicion over the death.

Tiruchengode Bar Association president S. Sekaran and members of the SFI who took part in an agitation following the incident quoted fellow students of the victim as saying that the boy was asked to come to the Warden’s room around 7pm on Friday and he was not seen since then.

Mr. Sekaran said that one of the school employees called the boy’s father C. Maarimuthu (40), a lawyer, around 7.30pm, asking him to come to the school on Saturday to discuss his son’s performance in studies. “He received another call around 8.30pm stating that his son had fallen sick and the call was disconnected immediately,” Mr. Sekaran alleged.

The boy’s parents claimed that they tried calling the school many times and were finally informed that he was admitted to the hospital. Doctors, however, told the parents that the boy was brought dead.

The demonstrators demanded the immediate arrest of the Correspondent of the school, hostel warden and the student with whom Mohanraj had problems.

Superintendent of Police P. Kannammal, Sub Collector of Namakkal Ajay Yadav and Additional Deputy SP G. Subbulakshmi pacified the demonstrators, after which the blockade on the busy Namakkal to Mohanur Road that affected traffic for two hours came to an end in the morning. When there was no progress in investigation, the protesters blocked traffic again in the evening demanding that the arrests be made immediately.

Correspondent, Warden held

Later, Correspondent of the school K. Thangavel (47), Hostel Warden T.S. Renu Singh (50), and the 16-year-old student (native of Theni), who was accused of enmity with Mohanraj, were held.

The Correspondent and Warden were produced in court and remanded in judicial custody. They were then taken to Salem Central Prison. The student was taken to a Borstal School.

Inspector-General of Police (West Zone) S. Davidson Devasirvatham reached Namakkal in the evening.

Ms. Kannammal told The Hindu that inquiries since morning revealed that there was a problem between Mohanraj and the other student and the matter was brought to the notice of the management. The school authorities had warned both the students on Thursday.

It was also alleged that the Correspondent had severely admonished Mohanraj on Friday. “Inquiry with other hostellers revealed that Mohanraj was upset over the incident and told his friends that he would end his life,” she said.

School closed

One of the directors of the school said the institution would remain closed for a week. Other students left the hostel on Saturday morning.

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