Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur student death | Man who shot video of girl not cooperating in probe, Tamil Nadu informs High Court

The court reserved orders after hearing all parties.
B.Tilak ChandarJanuary 28, 2022 22:54 IST
Updated: January 29, 2022 07:51 IST

Parents say they have no faith in police investigation, want CBI to inquire

The man, who shot a controversial video on the basis of which it is being claimed a Thanjavur school girl died by suicide owing to attempted religious conversion, was not cooperating with the police inquiry, the State informed the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday.

 

Parallelly, counsel for the girl’s parents told the judge they did not have faith in the police investigation and sought a probe by an external agency.

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During the hearing, Additional Public Prosecutor T. Senthil Kumar submitted that Muthuvel, who shot the video, was not cooperating with the inquiry. Despite the court order, he was insisting that summons be served on him.

Mr. Senthil Kumar said that as soon as the mobile phone with which the video was recorded was handed over to the investigating officer, it was sent for a forensic analysis to Chennai. “We do not know how many videos have been shot, and the same is being ascertained,” he said. The authorities were also probing the call made by the girl to Child Line, two years ago, allegedly complaining about her step-mother.

 

Mr. Senthil Kumar contended that a political blame-game was on and there was a clear case to create confusion despite the fact that the investigation was progressing properly. Arrests were made immediately. A total of 63 persons had so far been examined, and senior police officers were monitoring the probe, he said, adding that though the video was shot earlier, it was released much later (after the girl’s death).

Advocate M. Karthikeya Venkitachalapathy, representing the girl’s parents, submitted that they had lost faith in the police investigation and sought a CBI probe as opposed to their original plea for a CB-CID probe.

According to him, the girl’s “dying declaration” was leaked to the media. After the phone was handed over to the police, a new video pertaining to the issue was “leaked”, he submitted. He also doubted the forensic analysis.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Society, in an impleading petition, submitted that the school was established in 1859 by the congregation at Michaelpatti near Thirukattupalli in Thanjavur district. Senior counsel Fr. Xavier Arulraj said the girl’s death was a loss to the school and the majority of students of the institutions run by the Society were Hindus. Their faculty members included Hindus and Muslims.

Contending that there was no necessity to convert the girl to Christianity, he said the institution had paid her fees. But bald allegations were being made.

According to him, there was a larger conspiracy. The hostel warden, a senior citizen, is in jail and another warden was being questioned by the police. Mr. Muthuvel, who shot the video, “has criminal antecedents, and has attacked Christians before”, he submitted.

Submitting a “confidential affidavit” to the court, he claimed that the girl was suffering from a medical condition and had lodged a complaint with Child Line against her step-mother.

After hearing all parties, Justice G.R. Swaminathan reserved orders.

( Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050. )

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