May question Nirmala Devi today; CB-CID gets custody of her
The investigation by the Tamil Nadu Governor-appointed one-man commission and Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) into the attempt to lure college girls by suspended Assistant Professor Nirmala Devi of the Devanga Arts College made progress on Friday with enquiries being held in simultaneously in Virudhunagar and Madurai districts.
The CB-CID has got custody of Ms. Devi for five days to interrogate her.
The commission, led by retired bureaucrat R. Santhanam, held a day-long inquiry at the college with four girls who had first lodged the complaint with the college about its Assistant Professor attempting to persuade them to take up some assignment for the university higher officials in return for marks and money.
Besides the girls, their parents were present during the enquiry.
However, Mr. Santhanam refused to speak to mediapersons about the details of his inquiry with the girls and appealed to them to spare them.
“They are in mental agony. The students need to appear for examinations. Please do not add to their worries,” he said.
Mr. Santhanam said that he was planning to conduct an inquiry with Ms. Devi, now in CB-CID custody either on Saturday or Wednesday. When asked whether there was any legal provision for the commission to interrogate an accused in the custody of CB-CID, he said there was no restriction.
The panel called some people whose names figured in the “communication” for enquiry, he said.
Stating that if he could not examine all the persons planned for Friday, Mr. Santhanam said the inquiry would go on for one more day.
Meanwhile, amidst protest by women against Ms. Devi, the police brought her from Madurai Central Prison to the Judicial Magistrate Court II at Sattur for seeking her custody. While the CB-CID sleuths sought custody for 10 days, JM, Geeta permitted five days’ custody. She allowed Ms. Devi’s lawyer and relatives to meet her on those days. Following this she was interrogated at the CB-CID office here.
While a team of CB-CID sleuths made a visit to the college, another team made enquiries at the Madurai Kamaraj University.