Nirupama's boyfriend charged with rape, abetting suicide | india | Hindustan Times
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Nirupama's boyfriend charged with rape, abetting suicide

Police today filed a case of cheating, rape and abetment to suicide against the boyfriend of journalist Nirupama Pathak who was found dead in her Jharkhand home on April 29.

india Updated: May 08, 2010 14:45 IST

Police on Saturday filed a case of cheating, rape and abetment to suicide against the boyfriend of journalist Nirupama Pathak who was found dead in her Jharkhand home on April 29.

A first information report (FIR) has been filed at the Tilaiya police station of Koderma district, around 200 km from Ranchi, a police official said.

"The role of Priyabhanshu (Ranjan) is being investigated. He might have tried to play foul with Nirupama," the official said.

"He will be further interrogated and asked to come to Koderma to cooperate in the investigation. We will take the extreme step of arresting him if he does not cooperate," the official added.

Both Nirupama, 23, and Ranjan were journalists based in New Delhi. She was a reporter in a business daily and had come home in Koderma on April 19 and was due to return to New Delhi on April 28.

But her reservation was cancelled and she was was found dead on April 29.

Nirupama's family insists she committed suicide. But her post-mortem examination showed she was smothered to death and that she was 10-12 weeks pregnant.

Her mother Sudha was arrested on Monday in connection with the death but has been allowed to perform Nirupama's last rites.

A Ranchi court on Friday directed the police to lodge an FIR against Ranjan on a petition by Nirupama's mother.

She has accused Ranjan of sexually exploiting Nirupama by promising to marry her.

As soon as the order came, a joint team of Jharkhand and Delhi Police questioned Ranjan in New Delhi for over seven hours about his relationship with the dead journalist.

According to police sources, Nirupama sent 33 SMSes to Ranjan between April 19 and 28.

He has allegedly deleted all SMSes. During interrogation he denied receiving any SMS except one. He also allegedly took away the laptop and diaries from Nirupama's Delhi house when she went to Koderma.

The family has admitted they were opposed to Nirupama's planned marriage with Ranjan, her former batchmate at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).

According to police sources, the three-doctor team that conducted Nirupama's autopsy did not mention the time of death. They also did not preserve the viscera and foetus.

Nirupama's father Dharmendra Pathak and brother Samrendra are government officers in Gonda and Mumbai respectively. They have also been questioned in what some believe to be a case of "honour killing".