Just lately, a youthful male who had harassed school ladies was found buried in close proximity to a stream in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. R. Sivaraman stories on the gatherings leading to his loss of life that spotlight the moment again the tragic consequences of younger students befriending strangers on the internet
The December rains experienced last but not least stopped and the solar had emerged from the shadows. It was a dazzling Saturday early morning on December 18, 2021, when citizens of Periya Obulapuram, a village in Gummidipoondi taluk of Tiruvallur district in north Tamil Nadu, woke up to the wailing sirens of law enforcement motor vehicles whizzing past on the potholed street.
Sandwiched involving Chennai and Sri Town, an built-in enterprise town bordering Andhra Pradesh, the village experienced not witnessed this sort of police exercise in the recent past. The law enforcement autos halted on a wide tract of barren land around a stream. Surrounded by the massive compound wall of a metal production firm on the southern aspect and agricultural fields on the northern and western aspect, the tract prospects to Eechan Kadu Medu, a hamlet near to Periya Obulapuram, a limited distance absent from the countrywide highways.
A corpse in the vicinity of a stream
Villagers who adopted the police autos viewed in horror as some individuals accompanying the police crew fished out the physique of a youthful man from near the stream. The nearby Tahsildar, termed by the law enforcement as aspect of the procedural mandate all through these types of workout routines, jotted down the aspects of the operation.
Some 76 km absent, two ladies aged 15 and yet another aged 17, were being likely about their everyday regimen in their houses in Mannivakkam in Chengalpattu district adjoining Chennai, oblivious to the truth that the police would land at their doorsteps in 24 several hours or so.
The law enforcement experienced arrived on the scene of crime just after getting a simply call about the very likely existence of a corpse. Previously that early morning, S. Karthik, 30, a area resident, experienced headed to the barren tract. On the way, he had spotted a trail of dried-up blood from a smaller corrugated lose, which experienced been erected so that the very last rites of deceased persons could be carried out near to the stream. He pointed this out to a few villagers who have been with him. Backs hunched and eyes squinting, they discovered a human tooth on the floor alongside with a bit of hair. Which is when they alerted the police.
The villagers surmised the murder must have taken position the previous evening. “Normally no person from the village goes to this spot at evening. As you can see, the location is surrounded by agricultural fields on two sides,” mentioned T. Elumalai, a resident of the village.
The villagers have been unable to detect the body. The staff from the Arambakkam Police Station proceeded on the assumption that the deceased was an outsider. But they could not find any clues to create his id. They registered a scenario under Part 174 (I) of the Prison Course of action Code, working with “suspicious death”.
“The entire body bore inform-tale proof of injuries. There were being lower accidents on the facial area, head, ears and mouth – he was attacked, potentially, with a sharp knife. The body had not decomposed still. That made it easy for us to surmise that the crime had taken position the previous night or early that morning. But we have been clueless about the identity of the target,” mentioned S. Raju, Sub-Inspector, who registered the To start with Information Report (FIR) in the case.
Some place investigation led the police to a plastic sheet on the ground of the corrugated shed with evidence of washed blood stains. They presumed that the victim’s human body had been placed on the sheet right before it was taken in the vicinity of the stream and buried hurriedly.
Deputy Superintendent of Law enforcement (DSP), Gummidipoondi, S. Rithu stated, “On inspecting the body, we identified a tattoo on the upper body that study ‘Selvi’ in English. Though Selvi is a widespread Tamil identify, we ended up not able to conclude if the victim was from south India or up north. The probability of a north Indian acquiring fallen in enjoy with a ‘Selvi’ could not be ruled out.”
Before long two law enforcement groups had been formed — one particular less than the supervision of the Tiruvallur Superintendent of Police, R.V. Varunkumar, and a further less than Rithu. “We took the picture of the tattoo and the wristwatch worn by the victim,” stated the DSP.
The police then shared the photographs on their WhatsApp teams. The groups experienced been shaped so that info on the motion of persons with felony data in the neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram could be exchanged.
Friendship and harassment
The basic system paid out off. The pics received the sleuths at the Otteri Police Station in Chengalpattu, about 75 km south of the crime scene, doing work. The tattoo advised a tale. Only the past night, the moms and dads of R. Prem Kumar, a 19-12 months-old college student of a college or university in Chennai, experienced approached the Otteri police indicating their son experienced not returned dwelling in Mannivakkam and feared problems. Prem’s mothers and fathers ended up apprehensive for a purpose. Praveen, a buddy of the second-year higher education pupil, experienced advised them that he and Prem experienced long gone on a bicycle to Pink Hills, a neighbourhood in north Chennai. There, some youths had chased him absent and taken Prem hostage. The mom and dad had been shaken when they ended up demonstrated the WhatsApp images: the murdered male with the tattoo was Prem. Selvi, the title etched on his arm, is his mom.
A breakthrough had been obtained and the police now just had to piece the puzzle with each other. The 1st step was to get Prem’s cellular cellphone selection from his dad and mom. On having the contact detail history scrutinised, the police discovered that Prem experienced commonly built/acquired phone calls from a few figures. Of the a few, two had been sisters, who had been traced to Mannivakkam.
The mothers and fathers of the sisters — the father is a driver and the mother a casual personnel in the Postal Division — and the day-to-day-wage earning moms and dads of the other schoolgirl were shocked when the law enforcement termed the girls for an inquiry. As is the case in most crimes, the girls feigned ignorance. But when they were being confronted with the mobile phone simply call data, the tale started out tumbling out.
One of the schoolgirls experienced arrive in call with Prem 18 months back by a typical good friend. They exchanged mobile phone figures. She afterwards launched the other woman to him. An investigator explained Prem and the two women started acquiring intimate conversations around cellular phone. He recorded the discussions and allegedly begun blackmailing the girls. He threatened to make the discussions community if they didn’t shell out him cash. Prem also warned that he would publish some of the pictures and films he experienced taken with them online if they didn’t do as instructed.
Prem Kumar. Image: Specific Arrangement
The girls informed the police that they stole funds from their house and also borrowed dollars from pals to invest in Prem’s silence. This continued for a yr. When Prem allegedly continued to harass them for more funds, 1 of the women explained to her elder sister about it.
“The sister, a faculty girl, approached Ashok alias Ashok Kumar. She bought randomly acquainted with him on Instagram. She asked him for help. That is when matters turned unappealing,” claimed Rithu. Ashok, 21, was unemployed. He hailed from Nagaraja Kandigai, a village around Gummidipoondi. He experienced ‘liked’ a image posted by the lady on Instagram and chatted with her over a period of time. They then exchanged telephone figures.
The lady satisfied Ashok and sought his assist to intimidate Prem so that he would halt harassing her sister and her sister’s close friend. The schoolgirls way too spoke to him.
Ashok devised a program and roped in a gang of buddies — M. Levin alias Poochi, M. Tamil alias Praveen Kumar and R. Stephen (all aged 21) E. Jeganathan, 22 and R. Moses, 29. They all lived in and around Gummidipoondi.
As for each plan, the 15-yr-olds experienced on the fateful working day still left property in university uniforms and headed to a friend’s spot where by they transformed garments. Thereafter, they hopped on to a suburban coach and bought down at Chrompet railway station the place the college or university-heading sister introduced them to Ashok. The two girls mounted the bikes on which Ashok and his mate Tamil had occur. They raced north toward Crimson Hills, about 45 km from Chrompet, and stopped at a highway dhaba. Just one of the ladies identified as Prem, who demanded ₹8,000. The ladies stated they had managed to get ₹3,000. They decided to satisfy at Red Hills.
The girls had sought Ashok’s assistance to damage Prem’s cell phone, which contained the audio discussions and some images and films, and to threaten him not to harass them in the future. It was night. The college-likely girl was at house telling her mothers and fathers, who had no clue about any of this, not to stress about the absence of her sister and assuring them that she would be back shortly. She also called Ashok regularly asking him to mail the ladies residence.
As darkness fell, Prem, accompanied by his mate Praveen, achieved the Sholavaram toll plaza, wherever the girls experienced stated they would meet up with him. The two have been cornered by the gang and Prem was physically attacked. Praveen fled the place. Considering that a neighborhood villager experienced noticed the boys, the three of them left the scene.
Ashok sent the two girls absent, assuring them that challenge would be settled. He took Prem on a bike, with two other members of the gang joining on their bikes. The three took Prem to the barren land at the rear of the factory. The accused, who, in accordance to the police, experienced eaten alcoholic beverages and ganja at the place, then picked up a quarrel with Prem. Rather of seizing and destroying his cell cellphone and warning him, they ended up hacking him to demise shortly earlier midnight.
Primarily based on the inputs offered by the girls, the police arrested Ashok and his accomplices, who allegedly confessed to committing the murder. All of them are now in jail in judicial custody.
The 3 girls had been generated just before the District Juvenile Justice Board, Tiruvallur, and unveiled in the custody of their mom and dad the exact same day. As for each Juvenile Justice (Care and Defense of Youngsters) Regulations, an FIR need to not be registered against juveniles besides in which a heinous offence is alleged to have been committed by a kid or when this sort of an offence is alleged to have been fully commited jointly with older people.
“In this situation, we informed the women by means of their moms and dads about the fees levelled versus them. We offered the assistance demanded per rules and created them before the Juvenile Justice Board conveying the reason for apprehending them. The Board examined all the circumstances that resulted in the crime and unveiled them declaring apprehending them was not warranted in this circumstance,” reported a police officer, who is checking the scenario. Looking at their age, welfare and long term, the Board released them.
“The ladies are now in the custody of their moms and dads, which is in their best fascination. They have been given psychological counselling,” the officer extra. Eventually for the duration of the trial in the murder scenario, their deposition would be vital.
The father of the two sisters who are in conflict with the legislation is nevertheless to arrive to conditions with the developments. An investigator recalled the man’s disbelief when the police experienced summoned the women for inquiry in the circumstance. “My small children requested me for ‘touch phones’ (area parlance for smartphones) to show up at on the net courses saying their classmates and the young children of neighbours all experienced these phones. I really do not even know what functions the cell phone had. My spouse and I hardly ever monitored their usage of phones. In any case we in no way knew to operate it,” he experienced informed the police. “As dad and mom, we usually hope and rely on our small children that they will not do everything completely wrong. I have no notion what transpired concerning my women and the boys who dedicated the murder. Had we acknowledged this, would we have allowed this to happen,” the distraught father experienced questioned the investigators.
Having said that, he was company that his daughters would not have required their alleged harasser killed. Law enforcement mentioned the father insisted that the ladies were being traumatised and had only sought help [as narrated by them to him] from “that boy” [Ashok] to destroy Prem’s cell cell phone and practically nothing else. “They promised the women Prem won’t be harmed but ended up killing him…Our daughters have no website link with the murder,” he advised the law enforcement.
Using the lawful route
Superintendent of Law enforcement, Tiruvallur, R.V. Varun Kumar claimed Prem experienced a routine of befriending ladies via social media and experienced harassed a few other folks in a very similar method.
“The ladies had called Ashok to discover out if he obtained the mobile phone. He advised them that Prem experienced died although remaining overwhelmed. Ashok could have informed the law enforcement about the harassment alternatively of having issues into his own fingers. He was most likely striving to participate in hero to the women,” Varun Kumar additional.
“The women could have at the very least knowledgeable their dad and mom or approached the law enforcement. When asked why they didn’t choose the lawful route, they really do not have an respond to. Ashok held assuring them that he would deal with it,” explained Rithu. All of Ashok’s accomplices were doing the job as semi-experienced labourers in regional factories.
“Since college students are attending on the web lessons, every person has a smartphone these times. Mother and father need to check their cellular phone activity, with no intruding into their privacy, so that pupils really don’t tumble into these traps,” reported Varun Kumar. He included that men and women must not anxiety societal disapproval of their actions and keep absent from the police. They must pursue the lawful route alternatively of making an attempt to settle scores on their have. Dad and mom way too must overtly and freely talk with their small children to attain their have faith in. Quite frequently, youngsters use social media to request rapid redress to their troubles, he explained.
Senior advocate Sudha Ramalingam pointed out to the stressing trend of young ladies befriending males older to them to request support on individual matters. “They appear to experience reassured by the instantaneous empathy and treatment promised by the peer group. Mothers and fathers or elders are not consulted. They should be inspired to communicate to dad and mom,” she said.