CHENNAI: Residents of Bharath Nagar at Ernavur near Ennore on Thursday filed petitions with the chief minister’s cell, the Human Rights Commission and the Washermenpet police, alleging that constable Ulaganathan and his wife Durga Priya were responsible for the death of R Pranathi (14), who was working at their house as a domestic help.
A resident of Pranathi’s locality, Sivaperumal, who is also the president of the Ambedkar Chiruthaikal Iyakkam, the organisation that filed the petition said, “We don’t believe that she committed suicide because of stomach pain.
We strongly suspect the girl was raped and later killed. We demand that the authorities immediately order another post mortem and arrest Ulaganathan and his wife Durga priya”.
Pranathi, whose native tongue was Telugu, was working in Ulaganathan’s house for the past four months and would also baby-sit their child. On Saturday evening, the couple called her parents Rosayya and Mariamma, asking them to rush to their house at Washermenpet police quarters.
Later, they were taken to the H1 Washermenpet police station and informed that their daughter committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling due to stomach pain.
Shanthi, Pranathi’s neighbour and a member of a women’s forum, charged, “The post mortem says that she died before 11.30 am, but her parents were informed only after 4 pm. Why were they not informed earlier? We believe that this was a case of rape and murder. Pranathi, as we all know, is a brave girl who would fight eve teasers in the locality. The family is poor and they should be compensated.”
Tamil Nadu Domestic Workers’ Union Coordinator Sister Valarmathi said, “We have decided to lodge a complaint with the police commissioner tomorrow (Thursday).
We demand another post mortem to establish the truth behind her death and also arrest the police couple. We feel that most deaths of domestic workers are converted into suicides, but the truth is always rape, murder.”
On Wednesday, CoP T Rajendran suspended Ulaganathan and wife Durga Priya, also a constable, on charges of engaging a minor girl as domestic help. But, the investigating officer Inspector Gunavarman said, “This is a case of clear cut suicide as per the post mortem report.”