Gayathri’s relatives allege that she was murdered, and her parents have refused to accept her body till a proper probe is conducted.

Chennai IAS aspirants death takes murky turn as allegations fly on all sides
news Death Monday, May 22, 2017 - 18:51

 On May 19, 23-year-old Gayathri, hailing from Salem, was rushed to SKS hospital in Chennai, but died within a day. The circumstances of her death, have grown murky, however, as allegations of both suicide and murder have been raised.

According to hospital authorities, Gayathri had consumed poison before she was brought in to the hospital, and they had done everything they could to save her. The Salem police, which is investigating the case, says that it is, prima facie, a case of suicide. Gayathri’s relatives, however, claim that she was murdered, and point fingers at both the hospital and the IAS Academy where she studied.

Gayathri, a 23-year-old Engineering graduate hailing from Salem, was studying in the Manidha Naeyam IAS Academy in Chennai. She died on Saturday morning allegedly after consuming poison on Friday.

However, Gayathri’s relatives claim that she seemed to be recovering well in the hospital on Saturday morning, but abruptly died within half an hour. “We were informed by Gayathri’s friends that she was unwell and was admitted to a hospital. After her parents reached Chennai, they spoke to Gayathri and then she was given an injection and she died half an hour later. The doctors have written in the medical report that she had consumed poison, we do not know who gave her the poison,” said Kirudasamajr, (27), Gayathri’s cousin.

A doctor from SKS Hospital, however, said that they had immediately given her first-aid and proper treatment. “On May 19, around 12am, she was brought to the hospital, she had consumed oleander seeds. She was immediately given first-aid. Her uncle came along with her and there were three other hostel mates with her. She was in ICU as her condition was critical. Usually, when someone consumes oleander seeds, the reaction starts after 24 hours. Her parents came after 24 hours, she had a cardiac arrest and she died.”

He added that they were planning to shift her to a government hospital as they cannot take risk in such cases. “But we took all precautions and the treatment was going on for the girl,” said the doctor.

Gayathri’s relatives, however, are demanding an investigation into both the academy as well as the hospital. “We have petitioned the Salem Collector about the mysterious death. We do not know who has done this and why someone would kill her.”

The IAS Academy has denied any connection to Gayathri’s death. Speaking to the media, Karthikeyan, Director of the Manidha Naeyam IAS academy, said, “We came to know that the girl has died through the news. There have been media reports saying that we harass children for money but all of it is false. This is a free IAS academy. We do not propagate any party in this place.”

He added that, “The hostel where the girl was staying has nothing to do with this academy. Gayathri was very regular till January, but after that she was irregular."

Asked if she was facing any problems, Kirudasamajr said, “Her parents spoke to her about three days ago and she was not facing any problems. She was having examinations and this happened.”

However, according to a senior police official, investigations had revealed that Gayathri was living with some relatives before she moved into a hostel, and it is suspected that she had a relationship with her relative’s husband.

Speaking to The News Minute, Gayathri’s roommate in the hostel, Akanksha (name changed), said that Gayathri had gone out on May 18 and when she returned she was with this relative’s husband. “He told me to take care of her. He said that there was a family issue and she has threatened to eat poison so please take care of her,” Akanksha said.

10 minutes later, Gayathri told her that she had consumed poison, Akanksha said. “I called her relative and informed him. We immediately took her to SKS hospital.”

Akanksha narrated that she told Gayathri’s father at around 6am the next day that Gayathri had been admitted to the hospital with food poisoning as she did not want to worry him. However, when Gayathri’s condition became critical, Akanksha told them that she had consumed poison.

One of the main points of suspicion for Gayathri’s relatives is that a post-mortem was not conducted on her body before it was sent to Salem. “They should have carried out a post-mortem and then sent the body here. But instead, as soon as she died, they just sent her body to Mettur without conducting a post-mortem,” he said.

However, the doctor from SKS hospital, said that a post-mortem had not been conducted on Gayathri as her father had insisted that her body be sent back to Salem immediately. According to the police, a post-mortem will now be conducted in Salem.

Kirudasamajr said that Gayathri was a bright student who had always dreamt of joining the IAS. “She scored well in her college, she came second in her school in Class X and fourth rank in Class XII,” he said.

Gayathri had completed her Bachelor’s degreee in Computer Science Engineering from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology after which she had enrolled for civil services coaching. “We had told her to get married and pursue her studies for IAS, but she was adamant about becoming an IAS officer and then getting married,” he said.

Gayathri’s parents Nagaraj and Arivalagi, who work as daily wage labourers, have filed a police complaint at a police station in Mettur. They have also refused to accept Gayathri’s body until a proper investigation is carried out in the case.


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