That mother opened the outer gate , opened the door and entered home calling Harishnavi! Harishnavi! She was calling for her daughter. The next second she froze in her tracks. Next moment her wailings reverberated into the neighbourhood. Oh! daughter why did you do this? Neighbours rushed into the house to see the mother crying over her daughter’s body on the bed. Tears were flooding out of her eyes. Another mother on another day ….. and today all Vavuniya is drowned in unbearable sorrow.
Who is Harishnavi? What happened to her?
The morning of last Tuesday 16th also dawned like any other day. Students going to school…. Officers going to for their work….that morning also was busy as usual. But, there was a small commotion in the home of Kengatharan Mathiny. Her second daughter in a trampled school uniform was adamantly refusing to go to school in that uniform. Understanding her daughter’s grief she pacified her saying that she get a new uniform the next day and went away to school. When she returned from school, the worst shock of her life awaited her at home itself. Shock waves wracked through her seeing the state of her daughter.
Mathiny’s husband Kengatharan fled the country due to war related threats and was staying in Germany for the last 9 years. Wife Mathiny was a teacher in Vipulanantha College, Vavuniya. They have three children. Eldest , a boy is studying in grade 10 and the other two girls are studying in grade 9 and 5 respectively. Even in the absence of the head of the household, their mother had brought up the children in good stead. They also were achieving well in their education.
The mother and three children living a quiet life attending to their work and not getting into conflict with the neighbours. The fateful day of Tuesday the 16thwas the day a horrible cyclone wracked their lives. Nobody expected the happenings that day. It was a day throttled by the bloody hands of lustful maniacs.
As usual Mathiny was cooking meals in a haste. Children finished their chores and were getting ready to go to school. But Harishnavi was telling that the uniform is dirty and she will not wear that to school and refusing to go to school. Running short of time the mother pacified her saying that she will get a new uniform next day. At that time Harishnavi said she will not go to school. As it not unusual the mother had allowed her to stay at home.
Harishnavi (aged 14) was studying in grade 9 at Vavuniya Vipulanantha College. Their small house was located in Ukkulankulam at the 4th Lane. There is a house across the road but on both side it had empty lands. While Harishnavi stayed at home Mathiny started for school with the other two children. She locked gate, called Harishnavi , told her that the gate is locked and asked her to stay inside and that she will buy Harisnavi a new uniform when she come back from school, waved her hand in a last good bye to her daughter and left. She never imagined that those are going to be last words she will speak to her daughter. She wouldn’t have left her daughter alone if she had known that.
As usual, mother Mathiny and children returned at around 2.30 p.m. Unlocked the gate went in and slightly closed door of the house. Shock of her life waited inside. She started screaming Harishnavi’s name. She tried to save her daughter. She was hanging from a beam of the roof by a saree. The things in the house were scattered here and there. Harisnavi’s eyes were partially opened. Her lunch was in the next room half eaten. In an attempt to save her daughter she removed her from loop and laid her on the bed. The buttons and zip of the short trousers were seen to be in a pried opened position. Vaisnavi ‘s mother put on the buttons and closed the zip. Then only she realized that her daughter was not among the living. The house as well as the neighborhood was drowned in sorrow.
On hearing the wailing the neighbors came running in. police was informed. Police who came to the spot proceeded with their inquiries. Then the mother told that her daughter being angry with her asking for a new uniform. The Police simply thought it was a suicide. The mother told the same story to web site who came to the spot. The story spread like a wildfire that Harishnavi had committed suicide. When the Inquirer into sudden deaths came to the spot, the story took a different turn. The inquirer into Sudden deaths Sivanathan Kishore inspected the body of the girl and the surroundings and conducted his inquiries. The gold ring of the girl and her mobile phone worth 17,000/= were missing. Under garments of the girl had been removed. It was also noticed that she is wearing different trouser from the one she was wearing in the morning and that also had been put on in a haste, it appeared. Then only it was presumed that this was not a suicide but a cold blooded murder.
Police got out of their slumber and got busy with their investigations. The body was taken to Vavuniya Hospital for post mortem. Since the Lego-Medical officer was on leave and the body had to wait till his return. The Lego-Medical Officer J.C.Samaraweera came back on 18th Thursday and held the Post Mortem and confirmed that the girl had been raped before being killed. Body was handed over to the mother, by the Inquirer into Sudden Deaths.
The poor girl had been raped, choked by the neck and hanged. The girl had fought with the rapists to protect herself. Marks confirming this were found on her body. Evidences of her being raped also were there. Hence this is a case of rape and murder. The Inquirer into Sudden Deaths Sivanathan Kishore announced that the case is being handed over to the CID, Vavuniya and ordered to bury the body with the court’s permission.
On the next day, Friday, MPs, PC Members, School students and large number of public participated in a Condolence meeting and after the meeting cortege left in procession to the Front of Vipulanantha College where the girl studied and then to the Hindu Cemetery and buried there.
People participated in their numbers with placards calling for “Arrest the rapist” “ Death to Rapist” “Ensure the security of the students” among other and called for justice to the student. The new Principal who had taken over only that day was requested by the students to allow them to participate in the last voyage of their colleague for nine years but flatly refused by the Principal of the school where the girl studied and her mother taught. The gates of the School was closed and only the Principal came out and joined the procession, while the students bid farewell to their co- student through the windows and whatever openings available. Is this the humanity of that school….? Is this a humanitarian act of the Principal…? Although the relatives and several others who came in the procession requested the students be let out, it was refused. The Divisional Secretariat Children’s Affairs officer who tried to reach a compromise got into arguments with some youths and an altercation occurred. However the Police intervened and stopped it. What is the reason behind this altercation? The truth is that, these type of crimes cannot be prevented if each one will get awoken only when the tribulations taps their own Door.
Th Vavuniya Police had commenced intensive investigation. They have got several leads regarding the murder. The concern of many is that the police should arrest the suspect/s soon and bring them to book with responsibility. Hope of many is that when the police and the Law do their work intensively these crimes could be prevented.
This innocent bud is trampled and buried in the soil. Kirishanthy, Vidya, Saranja ….. the list had lengthened upto Harishnavi in the North. What should be done to prevent crimes like this? From where did this savage thoughts have come? this is a period to think about , Whither our society is heading? The expectation of everybody is that law should strengthen its commitment to control these activities which are making many to think…. In a society that fought for its rights….?