Ansu (27) was the elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kuruvilla, Mangalath, Moolavattom, Kottayam.
On 15-06-2000 she was married to Ribu John Varughis of Kollentayyath, Kidanganoor, Pathanamthita.
Ansu after her graduation had been working in an MNC in Chennai till the time of her marriage and Ribu, was a free lance Editor.
For the Marriage on demand, a dowry of Rs. 5 lakhs and gold ornaments worth more than 60 sovereigns were given. After their marriage she started staying with her husband in Hyderabad.
Ribu’s earnings were not sufficient to meet the household expenses. Financial constraints forced them to stay till 2001 in the one-room apartment which Ribu shared with his friend Chagla before his marriage. When Ansu secured a job, with Deloitte, they shifted on rent to flat A-3 Banjara Saman apartments, Road no.12, Banjara hills, Hyderabad.
Ribu was occasionally employed and Ansu’s parents gave the major financial support as and when demanded by them. In 2003 the company sent Ansu on an assignment to US and she returned to Hyderabad in 2004. With the money that she could save in the US and with the additional support of her parents she bought the same Flat, which she was staying on rent. Ribu was actually dependent on her during these periods, as he could not get any permanent assignment or get along with his employers.
In 2005 Ansu joined with another MNC ZAVATTA as a SENIOR TEAM LEADER with a salary of Rs. 50,000 per month. She had excellent rapport with her employers and colleagues. Now that she had settled with a good income, a flat furnished by her parents, a Santro car, a kinetic scooter etc., she decided to get pregnant.
She consulted a Doctor and was told that nothing was wrong with either of them and that she would conceive immediately.
Her pregnancy test was scheduled on 29-06-06.
Ansu’s father Mr. Kuruvilla was with them from the 15th to 18th June 2006, for their 6th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY and she was very happy during this time. She wanted the support of her parents to shift to a three bedroom flat. On 18-06-06 evening Mr. Kuruvilla returned to Chennai to attend the birthday of Joshua, his second daughter’s son.
On 19-06-06 morning he reached Chennai and was arranging the transfer of shares worth Rs. 20,000 to Ribu’s name as Ansu had asked him to do so as her wedding gift to her husband. Ansu’s sister complained that Ansu or Ribu had not called up to wish her son on his birthday on 19-06-06. It was the practice of Ribu and Ansu to call up and wish on every occasion. It was a special birth day for Joshua as he just recouped from the verge of a serious sickness. So she sent a message to Ansu’s cell phone but there was no reply.
At about 1:00 pm Ribu called up Ansu’s father and informed him abruptly “Ansu committed suicide by hanging the previous night”. Her father immediately contacted Ribu’s brother, Rev. Ranji Varughis (Kidanganoor) a priest in St. Thomas Mount Marthoma Church, and informed him. Ansu’s father along with the family and Ribu’s brother took the 6:00 pm flight to Hyderabad and reached Ansu’s house at around 7:30 pm.
They were told that the body was kept in the mortuary by the police, and that he had to go to the police station to sign some papers. Immediately Ribu and his friends rushed her father to the police station.
On the way Ansu’s father enquired with Ribu what had happened and Ribu told him that the ‘MAIN DOOR OF THE HOUSE WAS LATCHED FROM OUTSIDE AND WAS OPENED BY THE POLICE WHEN THEY CAME’ after receiving his complaint. This made Ansu’s father believe that a third person had entered the house and murdered Ansu.
Ansu’s father passed on the information to the police that an intruder had murdered Ansu. The Banjara hills Police had not recorded his statement and made their own statements as if her father had told.
While he was in the police station, Anita, Ribu’s partner Mr. Hemant Apte’s wife Mrs. Anita Apte informed Ansu’s mother that there was a fight between Ribu and Ansu the previous night because of Chagla, Ribu’s childhood friend who came to their house after Ansu’s father left for the railway station on 18.06.06.
Ansu had asked Ribu not to entertain Chagla in the house because of his immoral character and she doubted whether Ribu had any homosexual relationship with Chagla. Chagla’s divorce after a LOVE marriage added to her doubts.
The previous week she had reprimanded Ribu for giving her car to Chagla without her knowledge and she took it back from him. Even from Ansu’s earlier talk, her parents knew that Ansu did not like Chagla’s presence in her house. Chagla also confirmed Anita’s version with Ansu’s mother late in the night on 19.06.06 that there was a fight between Ansu and Ribu because of him coming to the house. Later that night Ribu too admitted that he and Ansu had fought around 9:30 pm on 18-06-06 and he had thrown the remote control of the TV in anger. He also admitted that Ansu told ‘it is my car, my flat and I am the lady of the house…..’as her last dialogue to him.
On 20-06-06 morning at around 10:00 am Ansu’s father was taken to the post mortem wing of OSMANIA Hospital, but all his efforts to see the dead body of his daughter proved futile because neither Ribu nor his friends were revealing where the dead body was kept. No police officer was seen around. The MRO came late and started writing the inquest report. Ansu’s father told him that his daughter was murdered and the house was latched from the outside. While the MRO was noting down the details, the Postmortem Doctor called the father and informed him that the post mortem is over. Later on it was found out that the MRO had written CONTORTED statements deliberately supporting the culprits. Though he had recorded that somebody murdered Ansu, he had not taken any further steps required under law due to other considerations. The MRO had not seen the dead body, and moreover the postmortem was carried out before the father reached the mortuary.
A doctor who introduced himself as Dr. Janardhana Reddy informed Ansu’s father that Ansu had jumped from a height and her carotid bones were broken and death was instantaneous. When Ansu’s father refuted, he abruptly disappeared from the scene. Though Ansu's father was made to acknowledge the receipt of the dead body, the dead body was flicked away by Ribu to another mortuary at NIMS. Later it was learnt that no blood relatives had identified her dead body except a constable who had never seen her alive or dead.
Ansu was not made a church member and her burial posed problems. Finally without allowing anybody to see her face, she was buried on 21-06-06. The Priest of Marthoma Church Ramachandrapuram, Hyderabad later apologized that he had been misguided by Ribu’s brother and the Bishop to take a burial service without any medical report or police report contrary to the directions of the clergy manual.
Ribu was not revealing any other information as to the cause or motive behind her death. Her parents returned to Chennai on 22-06-06. The ACP, Mr. Rajagopal wanted to close the case and directed Ribu to ask the parents to talk to him. The parents were not given any details by the police about Ansu’s death, while they were in Hyderabad from 19th to 22nd June.
On 26-06-06 they reached the Banjara hills police station where the SI, Mr. Kishan Kumar took the father’s statement. The ACP tried to convince Ansu’s parents that their daughter had committed suicide without any supporting evidence, or the postmortem report. The Banjara Hills police refused to part with most of the information and adopted a totally negative attitude. Finally the Women’s Commission Chairperson interfered and only then they gave some of the relevant details. The Banjara hills Police refused to take the statement of Ansu’s mother and manipulated the statement given by Ansu’s father. The FIR was given by Ribu’s friend Mr. Apte who reached the scene of offence after the police had reached there.
The Banjara hills Police conspired and made an all out effort to fabricate/suppress/destroy evidences and removed the dead body from the scene of the crime before the parents reached Hyderabad by flight on 19-06-06 without any permission from the appropriate authorities, even with out an inquest report. They gave a clean chit to her husband even after seeing the body in a kneeling position, with the hair covering her face; her legs- one on a suitcase and the other positioned awkwardly, the insufficient length and the unusual knot of the duppatta and the latched main door from outside the flat while her bedroom was wide open with lights on.
The police did not even interrogate the husband though he was the only other person in the flat ‘seen her alive last and dead first’. The police ignored all these direct evidences and charged only section 174 CrPC violating all principles of natural justice and overlooking the directions laid down in the case of the death of a young lady with in 7 years of her marriage by the Supreme Court as well as by the DGP. All efforts to locate Dr.Janardhana Reddy who represented himself as a doctor during the post mortem, was in vain. There was no such doctor in Osmania hospital. He was a fake doctor, planted just to misguide Ansu’s father. The post mortem report dated 20-06-06 was made available on 30-06-06 which clearly spelt out an ante mortem injury of 6x7cms on the parietal occipital region of Ansu, indicating that she was subjected to cruelty before her murder. The post mortem report concluded that the IO should investigate and ascertain the cause of death.
The various utterances of Ribu contradicted which led to more controversies. The various commissions and omissions of the police, MRO and the postmortem doctors, as conspirators, were clear indications that they were influenced and bribed heavily and were deliberately trying to destroy all evidences of a murder. The police and some doctors tried to give new meanings to the contusion or head injury of 6x7 cms. Ansu’s father subsequently met the DGP who ordered a CB CID probe through WPC. The CID investigation revealed that the motive for her murder was her properties and hence the sections were altered on 31.08.06 from 174 CrPC to 304 B with 201 of IPC and DP Act 3 and 4.
The CID has recommended action against the MRO and the District Collector has been requested to confirm action contemplated against the MRO. On behalf of the Principal Secretary before the High Court the sworn statement of the CB CID says “ The CID recommended to take necessary disciplinary action against the concerned for procedural lapses identified in the case vide C. No.205/C 13/WPC / CID/2006 dt 29.12.2006. The concerned are dealt with under departmental action vide File No.L& O/ B 2/338/2007 of Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad City.” The CID leveled more than thirty charges against the SI and recommended him to be arrested and charge sheeted along with the accused.
The parents of ANSU wished to bring the mortal remnants of their departed daughter to Kerala, and give her a proper reburial in their family vault, with all rites and rituals, which was denied to her, violating all human rights, because, a service which was meant only for those who commit suicide was conducted on 21-06-06, with out any proof regarding the cause of death or getting consent from the parents of the deceased. As there is no death certificate or post mortem report or police report to show that Ansu committed suicide the parents questioned the rationale of the Bishop of the Marthoma Syrian Church Rt. Rev. Theodacious for ordering a surreptitious service meant for people who commit suicide. But no reply was forthcoming. The BHEL Marthoma Church contrary to the sabha constitution, under instigation of the episcopa refused to furnish the extract of the records of the church with reference to her burial, in spite of a legal notice and her parents being members of the Marthoma Church. It was evident that the Bishop was a party to the criminal conspiracy at the behest of the brother of accused, Rev. Renji Varughis. Both conveniently forgot the Christian dogmas and doctrines and the oath they took at the time of their ordination. They acted against the apostolic tradition, constitutional episcopacy and evangelical doctrine of the Marthoma Sabha. Finally the ego of the bishop brought the ignominy of being questioned by CBI and his secretary achen had to tell lies to CBI.
The mental agony imparted by these revelations was so great that the parents of Ansu were compelled to approach the Human Rights Commission against their church and Bishop. The church could not produce any Death certificate or postmortem certificate before the Human Rights Commission. Finally they submitted a manipulated copy of the death register which did not mention that a service meant for people who commit suicide was taken or any reference to the exhumation or re postmortem on 08.08.06.
The RE-POSTMORTEM carried out on her body revealed that all her internal organs were destroyed without sending them for forensic tests. Even the dress that she was wearing at the time of her death was destroyed leaving no clue to ascertain the cause of death.
The post mortem and repost mortem doctors differed in their views. AllMS was requested to look into the veracity of the postmortem reports and interpret them based on scientific facts. The negligence and dereliction of various government agencies reveal how justice is denied to the victim of dowry death while her husband continues to enjoy the property acquired by her hard toil. He banished her from the face of earth to take possession of her assets. On 4th December 2006 after about 6 months, Ribu was arrested and remanded to judicial custody. Apparently the prosecution underestimated their influence and Ribu got bail. In January 2007 the DSP- IO-CID , Dr. Vittal submitted his FINAL INVESTIGATION REPORT (FAR). This indicted Ribu, Chagla, the SI, MRO etc. as accused under section 302, 304 B, 201 of IPC. It also recommended severe action against the erring doctors also. Subsequently, Dr. Vittal was suspended which he alleged as the vendetta of the ADGP, CID who interfered with the administration of justice supporting the culprits.
On 09.08.07 the Addl. DGP submitted before the State Human Rights Commission that Ansu was murdered for her properties, her flat, her car, gold and other personal belongings which Ribu is still keeping with him.
According to the DGP “It is also established that the accused caused disappearance of evidence by creating a scene to make believe others that the death of the deceased is a suicidal one with an intention to escape from legal punishment. In this case the draft charge sheet is under scrutiny. The circumstantial evidence collected is sufficient to prove the guilt of accused Ribu.”
When the Charge sheet was delayed Kuruvilla approached the AP High Court. The CB CID to avoid the wrath and censure of the High Court suddenly wanted to conduct a Narco Analysis on Ribu. Though the Lower Court ordered to conduct it Ribu obtained a stay and both writs are pending with the High Court.
It took almost 6 months for AIIMS to release their report, re-establishing the HEAD INJURY. But the new IO, DSP CID Mr. Pawar because of the influence of the culprits deliberately manipulated the AIIMS opinion without forwarding the re postmortem final report and other key evidences to AIIMS in spite of a court order to forward both post mortem reports. This ignoble action of the IO, defeated the very purpose of an expert opinion from AIIMS and it proved the allegation of Dr. Vittal that there was an effort to hush up the case at the top level. Because of this manipulation the parents lost their confidence in the AP police and approached the Chief Minister to transfer the case to CBI. On 24th March 2008 the notification was issued. In the central ministry the file was not traceable for 3 months. Finally the CBI Chennai Spl . Crime Branch took over the files from AP police on 04.10.08.
All investigations established Ansu’s death as homicide at the fag end of their investigation. The SHRC directed the Collector Rangareddy to permit the father to take custody of the mortal remnants by dictating its order on 03.03.09.( copy yet to receive) The Metropolitan of the Marthoma Church permitted the reburial of the mortal remnants of Ansu at her paternal church at Kottayam.
Now, one of their struggles for 40 months was over. They obtained permissions from the court, the CBI, the church and other authorities to rebury the mortal remnants of Ansu at Kottayam and at last Ansu was reburied with all dignity and honour in their family vault atJerusalem Marthoma Church, Kottayam on November 1st 2009 in the presence of all her relatives and friends.
This is First time in the history of the Marthoma Sabha a reburial was done rectifying a wrong done earlier by the church, Subsequently Chagla the friend of Ribu was arrested by CBI and was in judicial custody for about 50 days. Presently he was let off on bail.
The enquiry was completed by CBI, and the charge sheet was forwarded to their director’s office at Delhi for approval. The anxious parents and relatives are waiting to know finally the outcome of CBI’s investigation.
JUSTICE FOR ANSU IS NOT VERY FAR
On 15th July 2010, on her birthday, the CBI filed the charge sheet against Ribu and his accomplice Chagla under IPC.302 for COLD BLOODED MURDER along with section 325- grievous hurt, 120B conspiracy and 201- supression of evidence.
The 14th court of Nampally- Hyderabad will now start the trial. The Police Officers who tried to subvert justice were recommended for stringent punishment by CBI at Govt: level.
Though Ansu’s parents are vindicated, a journey fraught with challenges is still ahead. They can still hear her voice pleading, “I want to live”. Hope the ray of hope for justice is not a mirage any more.
For the parents of ANSU justice delayed is not justice denied. They still believe:-‘Satyameva Jayathe’