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Actor Nilani booked for suicide; draws ire of activists

According to police, the silver screen actor had attempted suicide on Thursday following the suicide of her partner Gandhi Lalith Kumar, against whom she had filed a case for marriage torture.

Published: 23rd September 2018 02:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2018 02:42 AM   |  A+A-

File Photo: Actress Nilani is being produced at Saidapet Court in Chennai on Thursday for allegedly releasing a controversial video on police firing in Thoothukudi | Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Right after actor Nilani was discharged from Government Royapettah Hospital, where she was treated for ingesting mosquito repellent, Maduravoyal police on Saturday booked her for attempting suicide.

According to police, the silver screen actor had attempted suicide on Thursday following the suicide of her partner Gandhi Lalith Kumar, against whom she had filed a case for marriage torture.

Gandhi Lalith Kumar self immolated on Sunday and succumbed to injuries on Monday at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital. Police said Lalith Kumar’s family blaming her for his suicide could have pushed her to take the extreme step.

Despite the Mental Health Care Act of 2017, decriminalising suicide attempts while under ‘stress’, police have booked Nilani under Section 309 (Attempt to commit suicide) IPC. This has drawn the ire of mental health experts and psychiatrists. “The victim is clearly under stress and cannot be booked for attempting suicide. Police should be more careful while handling such cases,” said Soumitra Pathare, a psychiatrist.

“By booking a case, the police have to prove she did not commit suicide under stress which will be problematic,” said Vaishnavi Jayakumar, co-founder of Banyan, a city- based NGO, highlighting that the government has done nothing for a suicide prevention policy which is also mandated in the Act.

When Express contacted Maduravoyal police Inspector, George Miller, regarding the issue, he said “An FIR is filed in all suicide attempt cases, but we don’t file chargesheets and close the matter,” he said.

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