The final rites of Nithinamol, the 21-year-old student who was stabbed to death by a stalker, were carried out on Saturday, October 2. Nithina's body was handed over to relatives on Saturday morning after a postmortem was conducted at the Kottayam medical college hospital. Her body was brought to her home in Thalayolaparambu in Vaikom district, for the public to pay their respects. The body was later taken to Nithina‚Äôs maternal uncle's house in Thuravankunnu, where the funeral was held. Her body was cremated at a relative's house, reportedly due to space constraints at her house.
As per reports, Nithina was quite popular at her college and in her neighbourhood. She was also actively involved in relief works during the floods in Kerala and the COVID-19 pandemic. Nithina died on Friday after her classmate Abhishek, who had been stalking her, slit her throat on the premises of the Pala St Thomas College in Kottayam. Both Nithina and Abishek, who were third-year students of Food Technology at the college, had come to the campus to write a supplementary exam.
Police suspect that the incident was a planned attack, as Abhishek had bought a new paper cutter knife from a shop in Koothattukulam a month before the assault. As per reports, the same knife was used to kill Nithina on Friday.
Meanwhile, police completed the process of collecting evidence from the scene of the crime. The police said that the accused enacted how he assaulted the victim. An eyewitness had told the media that he saw the two arguing under a mango tree on campus, after which Abhishek carried out the attack. The police also said that the accused had previously sent threat messages to Nithina and her mother.
Expressing concern over the incident, Higher Education Minister R Bindhu said girls too have the freedom of choice, and that the state government will take steps to defend their rights. The minister told the media that it was worrisome that such incidents are repeating among youngsters in a society like Kerala.
"The incident points to the lack of mental well-being among youngsters. It also indicates the importance they attach to the idea of "possessing" things that they set their minds on.... which has its roots in social attitudes that attach importance to acquiring things. It's highly condemnable when love ends in revengeful murder," she said. The minister also said that the government will strengthen the Jeevani project in government colleges for counselling the students. "Girls too have the freedom and right to choose. That cannot be ignored. We will take steps to defend their rights," the Higher Education Minister said. Project Jeevani was rolled out by the Kerala government in 2019 to provide mental health counselling to college students in the state.
The state has witnessed similar incidents in the last one year with the latest in August when Manasa Madhavan, a 24-year old dental student was shot and killed by a youth who later killed himself.
With PTI inputs