Pantheerankavu case: Woman ready to undergo lie detection test; probe on to trace her

Rahul P Gopal. Photo: Special arrangement

Kochi/Kozhikode: A couple of days after making a dramatic U-turn against her family, the complainant in the Pantheerankavu domestic abuse case has said she is willing to undergo a lie detection test.

In a recent video released online, the woman questioned whether the legal system would give her another chance to reveal the truth. Expressing her willingness to undergo a lie detection test, she asked whether her father and relatives would be ready for a similar test.

Her father had earlier alleged that she had changed her statements in favour of her husband, Rahul P Gopal, under duress and was under the custody of his family. It is against this backdrop that she released her latest video. The police, however, have not considered the woman's confession video and are slated to submit the charge sheet.

"I could not say these things while at home. I was trying to reveal the truth from the beginning and was under pressure. I had to leave home to escape my family's threats. I contacted my mother through WhatsApp and informed her that I was safe. I know I have nobody's support. Nevertheless, I want to tell the truth. Examine the CCTV footage at Pantheerankavu police station or the discharge summary of the hospital where I was treated first and you will understand that I am telling the truth. I am sad that my parents keep saying I'm lying and that whatever I've said in the video should not be believed," said the woman in her second video.

Regarding her relationship with Rahul that culminated in their marriage, she says, "We met through a matrimonial website. We had known each other for about a year and talked for four to five months. The marriage proposal came later. Rahul's family came to my house and saw me. However, I felt Rahul’s mother was not impressed, and they backed out from the proposal. Then I came to know through one of his friends that Rahul got engaged to another girl,  but that marriage also did not take place.

“We started talking to each other through Telegram. He was very sad about the marriage not taking place. Our interactions continued, we fell in love and decided to get married. At the time, he told me he had yet to obtain a divorce from his previous marriage. But I insisted on getting married immediately assuming he would get the divorce soon.

“My father initially objected to the marriage. He was not interested as Rahul’s family had rejected the proposal earlier. The wedding happened because Rahul and his mother managed to convince my family. At that point, my father was experiencing some financial difficulties. Hence, I told Rahul that only Rs. 2.5 lakh could be set aside for wedding expenses from my side. But Rahul supported me by meeting the remaining expenses, including that of my wedding dress. On finding that Rahul was financially well off, my mother suggested that we give them at least 50 sovereign of gold. There was no such demand from Rahul’s side.

“My relatives, especially my uncle, had no interest in this relationship. I always felt he was unduly influencing my father. He also tried to dissuade my father in several matters, including my education. But my mother, brother and I did not pay him any heed. My relatives were jealous of this marriage."

The woman also said she was under immense pressure from her relatives while at the police station. "Though we talked and settled the miscommunication between us, my relatives intervened in the issue and worsened it. While at the police station, I told them I wanted to go with Rahul, but they blackmailed me into going home with my family. They asked me whether Rahul, who I had only known for a few months, was more important to me than my parents who looked after me for 25 years. They also stated before the CI that my mother would commit suicide if I went with Rahul. The case was not registered initially as I had stated that I had no complaints at all.

“Additionally, my relatives told me Rahul had spoken ill about me. Then I thought why was he doing so even after settling everything? Confused and sad, I decided to return with my relatives. Even then, I never thought I was leaving him forever. I thought I would go back after a couple of days. But things spiralled out of control quickly.

“Everything happened so fast that we never got a chance to talk with each other. My uncle called the lawyer and the media while at the police station. He was not ready to give me any time. Had I made the right decision then, this would not have happened. But I was numb in the face of anger, threats, blackmail, and depression and had no idea what to do,” she said.

In a bid to strengthen the case, they wrote down a statement and asked me to read it aloud. Even then, I was not ready to comply. I warned my family we would pay a huge price for this. My uncle asked me to cry while reading it. I told the truth to the councillor and another uncle of mine. I was yearning for support from at least one person in my family. It did not happen, and I don’t think it ever will. I am fighting this battle alone. It was when I did not get anyone’s support that I called the ACP and revealed the truth. But when he said he could not intervene as two police officers had already been suspended, I knew that door was also closed. This was why I decided to reveal the truth by making a video, she said.

“I am ready to undergo a lie detection test, but will my father and relatives be ready for it? I doubt whether the truth would come out if I give it as a secret statement. My father wields some influence among the police that I feared he would find out my secret statement. Hence, I testified in front of the magistrate. Will the legal system permit me another chance to reveal the truth?" she asked.

Woman not in state, say police
The police believe the woman has left the state and have launched a search operation. According to officials, her cell phone's tower location was traced to Delhi. However, she holds no passport and is unlikely to leave the country. She last went to her office on June 7 and requested leave for a trip with her family. Upon reaching Delhi, she recorded a video and uploaded it by creating a new YouTube page. These videos have been uploaded from different locations. The police also reported that the woman is receiving significant help and legal aid from external sources.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the police interrogated the officer accused in the case. Efforts to bring back Rahul P Gopal, the primary accused, who has left the country, are also progressing.

The woman had earlier accused the police in Pantheerankavu, where Rahul's home is located, of not registering a case of attempted murder despite her complaint clearly stating that her husband tried to strangle her using a mobile phone charging cable. Her family also alleged that Rahul assaulted and attempted to kill her following an argument over dowry, barely a week after their wedding on May 5.

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