HC summons Tirunelveli Commissioner, SP

The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday directed the Tirunelveli Commissioner of Police and Superintendent of Police to be present in the court on Thursday to explain the lethargic attitude of the police in not having given serious attention to a woman-missing complaint lodged by an agricultural labourer whose 24-year-old daughter was recently found to have been murdered by a pastor and his wife.

A Division Bench of Justices S. Nagamuthu and M.V. Muralidaran summoned the officials to the court after expressing displeasure over the way their subordinates had handled the complaint lodged by C. Gnanaiah (50) of Sankarankoil Taluk in Tirunelveli district on September 21 last and to seek an explanation from them as to why the investigation in the murder case should not be transferred to Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department.

The interim orders were passed on a habeas corpus petition filed by Mr. Gnanaiah who stated that his daughter G. Anbu Stella was working in a private hospital at Perumalpuram in Tirunelveli district, after completing a Lab Technician course, when physically challenged pastor Millan (50) of Tharuvai in Tirunelveli district approached her and offered to get a job for her in a government hospital if she was agreeable to pay Rs.2.75 lakh to him.

Claiming to have arranged for the money with great difficulty and handed it over to the pastor, the petitioner said that her daughter went missing a few weeks thereafter and the last time she visited home was on September 10, 2015. Though he lodged a complaint first with the Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police, the petitioner claimed to have been tossed between Kuruvikulam and Perumalpuram police stations on the issue of territorial jurisdiction.

The petitioner also said that he received a phone call from his daughter from an unknown mobile number on March 8 and she complained of having been kept under house arrest by the pastor. Though she did not disclose the location, Mr. Gnanaiah said that enquiries made by him revealed that she was kept under illegal detention in collusion with two other people named Ganesan and Jeyakumar.

However, when the habeas corpus petition came up for hearing before the Division Bench on Wednesday, it was brought to the notice of the court that the woman had been murdered. Feeling sorry for the petitioner, the judges said that she could have been alive if the police had taken prompt action on the complaint lodged by him last year itself.

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