Nirupama`s laptop seized from Priyabhanshu, data missing say police

The Nirupama Pathak case turned murkier today with the police saying it has seized her laptop from her boyfriend Priyabhanshu Ranjan but found that all its data was missing.

Last Updated: May 10, 2010, 00:13 AM IST

Koderma/Darbhanga: The
Nirupama Pathak case turned murkier today with the police
saying it has seized her laptop from her boyfriend
Priyabhanshu Ranjan but found that all its data was missing.

Police said the laptop and some other belongings like
her diary were seized from the possession of Ranjan by a
police team from Koderma. The police also took his cell
phone.

The Director General of Police, Niaz Ahmed, said it
was a serious matter and it would be investigated seriously.
Asked whether the case required a CBI enquiry, he said, "We
are doing our job, and it is not required."

He said Ranjan was interrogated in Delhi while the
parents of Nirupama who was working as a journalist in a Delhi
business paper, were questioned in Koderma yesterday.

When contacted, Ranjan said he had received SMS from
Nirupama who told him to take all their photographs on the
laptop on a pendrive and then delete them. The SMS was sent to
him on April 27 at 9.31 P.M.

22-year-old Nirupama was found dead on April 29 in her
parents` house in Tilaya in Koderma district under mysterious
circumstances.

While Nirupama`s family accused Ranjan of forcing her
to commit "suicide", the boy`s family blamed them for her
death.

Ranjan`s father said his son had received SMS from
Nirupama the day she died that her family members had locked
her in a bathroom at their house.

"My son had informed me on the day Nirupama died that
he received an SMS from Nirupama that her mother, father and
brother have bolted her inside a bathroom at their house,"
Ranjan`s father Ramashankar Kanth, who is in Darbhanga, said.

Nirupama`s mother, Subha Pathak, who was arrested last
week in connection with the case, was today released on parole
for three days to attend the post-death rituals.

Koderma Jail Superintendent Martin Ranjan said that
she was allowed to go to her Jhumritilaya home to attend the
`shradh` rituals following a local court`s permission.

Subha attended the 10th day ceremony which was held
amid police presence.

Subha had on Friday petitioned Chief Judicial
Magistrate (CJM) N K Agarwal to allow her to attend the
`shradh` of her daughter.

At the behest of Nirupama`s family, a case of rape
and abetment to suicide has been filed against Ranjan.

But Kanth said Nirupama`s family was trying to
implicate his son to save their skin.

"My son is innocent. He is no way involved in the
case," Kanth, a resident of Kaiderabad Mohalla in Bihar`s
Darbhanga town said.

Her mother had alleged that it was a case of suicide.
However, the post-mortem report said Nirupama died due to
smothering and that she was pregnant. A 10 to 12 week-old
foetus was found during the autopsy.

It has been claimed that Nirupama and Ranjan were
planning to get married but her parents did not approve of the
match because he belonged to a lower caste.

They were batchmates from the Indian Institute of Mass
Communication in New Delhi and were all set to get married on
March six at an Arya Samaj temple in the national capital.

In one of the SMSes made by Nirupama on the fateful
day, she told her boyfriend to have patience and that she
would try and get back. She also told him not to take any
extreme step.

Police said the Koderma police superintendent G.
Kranthi Kumar visited Nirupama`s residence and quizzed her
father Dharmendra Pathak, brother Samarendra, a Mumbai based
Income Tax Inspector, and other family members for over four
hours.

Some neighbours were also questioned in connection
with the incident.

A police team led by senior police officer Shiv
Prakash Singh, who was sent to Delhi to interrogate
Ranjan, was in touch with Delhi police, the police said.

A detailed investigation report will be submitted to
the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate soon, officials
said.

Meanwhile, the doctors, who had performed post mortem
on Nirupama, petitioned Deputy Commissioner Rajiv Arun Ekka
urging him to direct the police to question them at Sadar
Hospital and not at the Tilaya police station, police said
here.

The doctors moved the DC after the police allegedly
summoned them to Tilaya police station for questioning
yesterday.

Kanth charged Nirupama`s father and other members of
her family with levelling false allegations against Ranjan,
also a journalist based in Delhi.

Kanth said Ranjan had told him about their plan to
marry and the family had no problem with the inter-caste
marriage.

"We believed that nothing will happen as both of them
are journalists. But what happened thereafter has shocked us,"
he said.

Kanth, a state government employee posted at a block
office, said he was in favour of an impartial and independent
probe to reveal the circumstances leading to her death.

PTI