A team of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists submits report to HC

A team of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists who counselled Divya of Dharmapuri informed the Madras High Court on Wednesday that she had expressed her wish to pursue her studies and had a positive thinking about her future.

The report was submitted to a Division Bench, comprising Justices M. Jaichandren and M.M. Sundresh, when a writ petition seeking a CBI enquiry into the death of E. Ilavarasan of Dharmapuri came up for hearing.

The marriage of Ilavarasan, who belonged to a scheduled caste, and Divya, a caste Hindu, led to the suicide of the girl’s father Nagaraj of Chellankottai. The suicide sparked mob fury in Dharmapuri district on November 7. The body of Ilavarasan was found near a railway track in Dharmapuri on July 4. The petitioner, S. Jimraj Milton, Chennai branch secretary of the Human Rights Protection Centre, Tamil Nadu, had sought a probe by the Central agency into Ilavarasan’s death as investigation by the State police was “ineffective”.

In the report submitted through the Government Pleader, S.T.S. Moorthy and the Special Government Pleader, I.S.Inbadurai, the team consisting of K.S.Ravishankar, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Government Dharmapuri Medical College, V. Sabitha, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health (IMH), and A.G. Shanthi, Assistant Professor/Clinical Psychologist, IMH, said she was counselled on two days from July 19 for four hours. She cooperated in the interview. She communicated well. The doctors said she was counselled to proceed towards an optimistic future. “She was taught coping skills and relaxation techniques to overcome the anxiety. Supportive psychotherapy was given to sustain the adaptive atmosphere and direct her towards a practical life. Her family members were also taught coping strategies and adaptive skills.”

According to the team, Divya and her family members felt better after the sessions. They said the sessions were satisfying and helpful and felt that it was enough for now. “They further added that they would contact the local psychiatric department if needed in future.”

As regards counselling for Ilavarasan’s parents, they did not turn up. When approached, they said they were engaged in performing the rites for their son.

Meanwhile, when a habeas corpus petition (HCP) filed by Divya’s mother, L.Thenmozhi, earlier also came up before the Bench, a counsel Rupert Barnabas said the petition should be treated as closed. An endorsement had already been made on the petition for treating the petition as dismissed as withdrawn. But, Mr. Justice Jaichandren orally observed that the court had not passed any order. Counsel R.Sankarasubbu, appearing for the other side, said the petition should not be closed in view of the developments in the matter.

The Bench posted the writ petition for next week. It reserved orders on the HCP.

  • “She was taught coping skills and relaxation techniques”

  • “She has a positive thinking about future”