FIR demanded against slain scribe's boyfriend
A Jharkhand court on Friday directed police to lodge a first information report (FIR) against Priyabhanshu Ranjan, boyfriend of Delhi scribe Nirupama Pathak who died under mysterious circumstances on April 29.
The court directed police to lodge an FIR against Ranjan under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sexually exploiting Nirupama Pathak, misleading her for marriage and forcing her to commit suicide.
Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) N.K. Agrawal passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Nirupama's mother Sudha Pathak.
Nirupama's family insists that she committed suicide. But the post-mortem examination revealed she was murdered by smothering and that she was 10-12 weeks pregnant.
The family has admitted that they were opposed to Nirupama's planned marriage with Ranjan, her former batchmate at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). The family members have also alleged that Ranjan was influencing the probe and a rape case should be lodged against him.
Sudha Patahak who was arrested May 1 was released on a three-day parole at the directive of the court.
Sudha Patahak in her petition had charged that Ranjan sexually exploited Nirupama by alluring her with marriage.
Koderma police Thursday night interrogated Ranjan in New Delhi for five hours and reportedly seized his mobile phone. Police also took possession of clothes and other belongings used by Nirupama in Delhi.
The journalist's father and brothers were also being questioned in what some believe to be a case of "honour killing".
Nirupama's father Dharmendra Patahak and brother Samrendra are both government officers working in Gonda and Mumbai, respectively.
Koderma police have also interrogated Kedar who is Nirupama's maternal uncle. Kedar is a contractor in Bihar's Bara district and he was reportedly against Nirupama's marriage with Ranjan.
On Thursday, K.P. Singh, one of the three doctors who conducted the autopsy on Nirupama, said he did not have the requisite qualification to conduct the post-mortem examination that he had conducted for the first time in his career.
According to police sources, the three-doctor team that conducted the autopsy did not mention the time of death of the journalist. They also did not preserve the viscera and foetus which was important for the investigation. The foetus could have disclosed the identity of the father.