As we mourn Rohith, what is the status of DSP Vishnupriya’s death case?

"The CB-CID have found no evidence that Senthil Kumar was exerting pressure on Vishnupriya," said TN police sources.
As we mourn Rohith, what is the status of DSP Vishnupriya’s death case?
As we mourn Rohith, what is the status of DSP Vishnupriya’s death case?
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Even as the DMK voices its support to those protesting Rohith Vemula’s, the case of Dalit cop DSP VIshnupriya, who was investigating the high profile murder of Dalit youth Gokulraj when she allegedly committed suicide, remains under investigation. Several questions have been raised on the circumstances of her death.

The News Minute has now learnt that it is likely to be a closed chapter soon as the police is likely to conclude that her death was a suicide, and that there was no foul play on the part of senior police officers who were accused of harassing her.

Sources in Tamil Nadu police have told The News Minute that Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Deparmtent (CB-CID) have not found any proof to disprove Vishnupriya’s death as a case of suicide due to personal reasons. The CB-CID will soon submit its findings to the Madras High Court.

However, Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, one of the CB-CID officers investigating the case, refused to comment about the case, and said, "We will be submitting the detailed report of the investigation to the Madras High court."

Vishnupriya’s family and friends, too, are waiting for the investigation to end, and say that they have no idea about the status of investigation.

"I do not know what is now happening with the case. I just know that CB-CID is investigating the case,” said M Ravi, Vishnupriya’s father.

Maheshwari, Vishnupriya's friend, and also a police officer with the TN police department, said, "We are just waiting for the final conclusion about the case from the CB-CID. Then, we will think what to do."

On September 18, 2015, DSP Vishnupriya was found dead hanging in the bathroom of her house. She was 27 years old.

Her family suspected foul play in her death as she was the Investigating Officer in the Gokulraj murder case. Gokulraj was a Dalit youth allegedly murdered because of his relationship with an upper caste woman. Her family has alleged that the Namakkal SP SR Senthil Kumar was exerting pressure on her to scuttle the investigation into Gokulraj’s murder.

Tamil Nadu police sources say that the CB-CID have found no evidence that Senthil Kumar was exerting pressure on Vishnupriya. They have also reportedly taken into consideration her suicide note in which she said that no one should be held responsible for her death.

Vishnupriya had written a seven-page suicide note in English and Tamil. She apologized to her parents, and stated that her decision had nothing to do with the ‘sensitive case.’ She also said that she liked her job but felt she is not suited to it. She wrote, that she “Made a mistake” and “that guilt is troubling me a lot.” She added: “Don’t give the police any trouble.. don’t go to political party..take my body and leave silently.”

After her death, fellow police officer and Vishnupriya’s close friend Maheshwari had alleged that it was because of the Gokulraj case that she committed suicide. “The SPs and DSPs in the case were pressurizing her to invoke the Goondas Act on those unrelated to the murder since their remand period was coming to an end,” Maheshwari had said.

Vishnupriya’s father M Ravi had also made the same allegations. He said that the police should start investigating Namakkal SP Senthil Kumar. “He has to be suspended, only then will the investigation be proper. He should not be in office. What happened between 3PM and 5PM, only he knows,” Ravi told The News Minute.

However, right from the beginning, the police had attempted to create rumours about personal reasons for Vishnupriya’s suicude.

A lawyer named Malviya, who practices in the Madras High Court, had claimed that the CB-CID had threatened him and told him to say that he and Vishnupriya were in a relationship. Malaviya however, has maintained that his relations with Vishnpriya were only work-related.

In his petition to the Madras High Court on October, he stated that these threats showed that the police were only interested in passing off the case as a suicide due to a failed love relationship, and urged that the High Court direct that the case be transferred to the CBI. 

Malaviya had also stated that Vishnupriya spoke to him before her death about how she was under pressure over the Gokulraj murder case and that she was forced to arrest innocent people in the case.

In November, Vishnupriya’s father Ravi had filed a petition with the Madras High Court, seeking the transfer of the case to CBI. The court had reserved its order on the petition. In an earlier hearing, the court had refused to stay the probe by CB-CID.

Ravi had alleged that the investigating officer probing Vishnupriya’s suicide was a subordinate of SP Senthil Kumar, under whom Vishnupriya too had worked. He said that this could prejudice the investigation.

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