Death of an 18-year old girl, Athira of Kumbalathamon Kalasakkuzhiyil house at Vadasserikkara, under suspicious circumstances at her paternal uncle’s residence at Omalloor, near here, has kicked up a controversy following allegations of black magic claiming the girl’s life. She was a second year B.Sc student at the St. Thomas College in Ranni.
According to the General Hospital sources here, the girl was brought dead to the hospital in an autorikshaw by 9 p.m. on Friday.
The girl’s father, Prasannakumar, who is a daily wager, said his daughter had been staying with his elder brother, Valsan, and family at Omalloor for the past one week. He said Athira was suffering from certain kidney ailment and loss of weight and the doctors advised him to take her to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital for better medical treatment.
The inquest conducted by the police in the presence of the Superintendent of Police, A.Srinivas, has found burns on both the
palms and on the back of the body. The police also found remains of holy ash on the body, prima facie suspecting it as an unnatural death.
According to police, the police station as well as many police personnel at the district headquarters have received phone calls
alleging practice of certain black magic at the house where the deceased was staying at Omalloor on Friday night, suspecting
it as an unanatural death.
The hospital staff too stated to the police the burns on the body, besides marks of holy ash on it. The neighbours say they could hear noice of certain rituals (puja) held at the relative’s house at Omalloor where the girl was staying.
However, the girl’s relatives said they did not believe in black magic and were disciples of Swami Shubhananda. They said the girl was epileptic and the burns and ash marks found on her body were due to the fits and the resultant fall over a burning oil lamp.
The police have taken Valsan, who is also an office secretary at the District Congress Committee office here, into custody.
Intorrogation of the girl’s parents and other relatives was under way, sources said.
Meanwhile, a group of workers belonging to the Democratic Youth Federation of India led by its State vice-president, Roshan Roy Mathew, laid seige to the office of the hospital superintendent, demanding that the post-mortem should be done at the Pathanamthitta General Hospital itself in the presence of senior police officials.
However, the situation was brought under control later folowing assurance from the SP that Pathanamthitta Sub-inspector
G.P.Manuraj, would also accompany the body to the Kottayam Government Medical College Hospital for the post-mortem there.