KODERMA (JHARKHAND): A case of rape and abetment to suicide has been filed against the young journalist boyfriend of the 22-year-old Delhi-based journalist Nirupama Pathak, an alleged victim of “honour killing”, following charges levelled by her arrested mother. The FIR was lodged by the police on a direction from a court and investigations are on, said Koderma Superintendent of Police G. Kranthi Kumar here on Saturday.
Taking cognisance of Subha Pathak's petition, Chief Judicial Magistrate N. K. Agarwal asked the Tilaya Police to file the FIR under Indian Penal Code Sections 306 (abetment to suicide), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 420 (cheating) against Priyabhanshu Ranjan. All the sections are non-bailable. Asked if Ranjan, also a Delhi-based journalist, would be arrested as all the sections were non-bailable, Mr. Kumar said, “We are in the process of investigation now.” - PTI
Staff Reporter in New Delhi adds: A Jharkhand Police team here in the Capital to investigate the case questioned the common friends of Priyabhanshu and Nirupama and also two of her colleagues on Saturday. The questioning took place at the Pushp Vihar office of the South Delhi Special Staff.
Priyabhanshu was questioned for two days earlier this week.
Meanwhile, students and faculty of Indian Institute of Mass Communication along with social activists and civil society organisations observed a candlelight vigil at Jantar Mantar and demanded a CBI probe into the journalist's death.
Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara who was killed in 2002, said: “We have to fight against honour killings. Parents cannot emotionally traumatise their children for their choices.”
Alleging that the police were not well equipped to conduct “modern investigations”, she said: “The media too is guilty of encouraging caste-related injustices. Many publications in their matrimonial columns highlight marriages on caste basis.”
Attributing Nirupama's death to a “dastardly act”, Indian Women's Press Corps general secretary Ritambhara Shastri said: “Honour killings are symbolic of a deep-rooted social malaise and we must react strongly to it.”