A 11-year-old girl in Kerala was found dead in her residence at Kollam’s Thrikkaruva Grama panchayat on Friday evening. The incident has triggered a police investigation as the deceased’s family has now alleged foul play. Some of the people suspected by the family are the child’s father’s friends who would allegedly frequent their house.
According to the Panchayat President of Thrikkaruva, the girl who studied in grade 6, lived in Prakkulam, a secluded area under ward number 12 of the panchayat with her parents. At 6 pm on Friday evening, the child was found playing outside her house by her mother, who had gone into the room to pray.
“An hour later, when the mother had stepped out, she noticed that the girl had gone missing from the front yard. On searching a bit, the mother to her shock found the girl dead inside the house. She was hanging from the roof,” Panchayat President Chandrasekharan Pillai tells TNM.
At 7:30 pm the child was taken to the PNN Memorial hospital at Anchalumoodu in Kollam, by her family and a few neighbors who had rushed to the house.
Here, she was confirmed dead by the duty doctor.
Police have now registered a case under section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (police to enquire and report on suicide) and an inquest has been conducted into the death.
Additionally, the deceased’s mother and maternal grandfather too have raised suspicions against the child’s father’s friends, stating that some of these men who were part of local drug gangs had visited the house on the same evening.
Speaking to Asianet news, the deceased’s maternal grandfather said that friends of his son-in-law (child’s father) would often visit the house where they would smoke marijuana or drink liquor, especially during the lockdown.
“Around 3-4 men who are my son-in-law’s friends used to keep coming to the house, especially when my daughter was never around. Yesterday too, one man has come to the house in the afternoon, picked up my son-in-law and taken him somewhere. People have been saying that this man was spotted in the neighbourhood yesterday,” the child’s maternal grandfather told local media.
The Panchayat President adds that the child’s house was located in a secluded area near paddy fields and it was not accessible by road.
“We suspect that a lot of people are using this area to use abusive substances. In addition to this, there is no regular police monitoring here as the place is only accessible by foot beyond a point as it is close to paddy fields,” the president added.
The child’s body was taken to the district hospital on Saturday, from where it was shifted to the Pariyaram Government Medical College hospital as the body had to be tested for coronavirus prior to the autopsy. On Saturday, the COVID-test returned negative for the virus. However, the post mortem report is yet to be released.
“We are yet to get details on whether it was a suicide or if there is suspected foul play. The inquest proceedings have just been completed on Saturday,” an official from the Anchalmoodu police station told TNM.
However locals believe that the child’s death should be probed.
“Her family has not reported any challenges with regard to the child. As far as the family knows, she was not undergoing any kind of mental or emotional trauma and hence suspect foul play in the death,” Chandrasekharan added.