TNS Explainer: The mystery of Swathi murder case and what's behind the latest resurrection!

When you walk on the platform or cross the track of the Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai, you would probably have an eerie feeling about what had happened there five years ago. The stairs, the platform, and the railroad still remain witnesses of what has become one of the horrific crimes recorded by the city. The bustling ambience of the Nungambakkam station went into stun when a techie, Swathi, was murdered at the station in 2016.

It's been five years and her murder case has been taking twists and turns and the latest resurrection of the case has been believed to exhume shocking truth and how the accused has died. Nungambakkam is one of the bloodlines for Chennai's heart and being sharing the downtown area, it will be active regardless of time and weather. The station was as usual on June 24, 2016, until that shocking incident happened. 

On June 24, 2016, 24-year-old Chennai techie, Swathi had arrived at the Nungambakkam railway station at around 6.35 am to catch the train to report to duty. However, before she boarded the train, a young man had brutally attacked her with a sharp weapon and hacked her to death before several eyes. The incident had drawn nationwide attention and Swathi's death had strengthened the call of installing surveillance cameras at the stations. As the incident was making national headlines, the pressure was on for the police and the law enforcement had formed special teams to nab the culprit. 

As the probe progressed further, the police had arrested Ramkumar on July 2, 2016, for murdering Swathi. Ramkumar was a native of Meenakshipuram village in Tenkasi and the police had said that when they attempted to arrest him, Ramkumar had tried to kill himself by slitting his throat. However, that was prevented and he sustained injuries after which he was admitted to the Royapettah government hospital in Chennai. After the treatment, Ramkumar was lodged at Puzhal prison for further investigation. While the legal trial was going on, there were voices across the state that Ramkumar was made a scapegoat in the case to conceal the fact. 

In the police version, Ramkumar was accused of having a love affair with Swathi, a native of Choolaimedu, Chennai. He killed her as she didn't accept his love. However, there had been a pile of scepticism and mystery behind the case and his arrest and Ram Kumar's death inside the prison had fueled them. On September 18, 2016, Ramkumar had died inside the prison which sparked outrage across the state. The police had claimed that he died himself by bitting an electric wire. After the proceedings, the police had closed the case that the only accused of the case has died.

However, his death had birthed strong criticisms and questions from activists and claimed that Ram Kumar was beaten to death inside the prison and that the police were covering up the story. Ramkumar's father Paramasivam had approached State Human Rights Commission with the petition that there has been a mystery around his son's death and it must be investigated. He also moved to the Madras High Court alleging that his son was murdered by the police. Some of the news agencies in Tamil Nadu had also released Ramkumar's autopsy report which revealed that his body had sustained severe wounds.

It has been five years since Ramkumar has died and the case is going on with several twists and turns towards unlocking the mystery. The Human Rights Commission has been probing the case as per Paramasivam's petition and recently, there were signs on how Ramkumar could have died. Last month, there was solid evidence proving that the police were wrong in their version as the medical report went contrary to what they had claimed.

A detailed report by a Tamil news agency had said that a document submitted by Histopathology experts to the State Human Rights Commission on August 18 underlined that there was no tissue damage on Ramkumar's brain or the heart as normally, these organs would endure tissue damage if a person bits a live electrical wire. The report further said that days after his death, two doctors had conducted tests on tissues of his organs including brain, heart, lip, lungs, and liver and found that none of the organs had suffered any damages caused by electric shock. 

This has been a complete contradiction to the claim made by the police that Ramkumar had bitten the live wire and died. Dr Sayed Abdul Khader, who was the first to examine Ramkumar's body, had also said, during the cross-examination, that there were no electrical injuries in the body. Khader had examined Ramkumar's body on September 18, 2016, at 5.45 pm, accompanied by prison doctor Naveen Kumar, and he noted that the injuries in the body of Ramkumar did not seem to have been caused due to electric shock. 

What's behind the latest resurrection of the case? 

The Swathi murder case and Ramkumar's death have again been coming to the limelight through the latest incidents that came out from the State Human Rights Commission's investigation. The Human rights watchdog has summoned the prison officials and doctors to appear before it and they have appeared and made confessions concerning the case. As a chain of confessions, our sources say Dr Balasubramaniam, who done autopsy for Ramkumar's body, and prison doctor Naveen Kumar had appeared before the commission on November 23- Tuesday and gave their confessions. 

During the investigation, Balasubramaniam has said that there was no symptom in Ramkumar's body that he had sustained live electrical shock. He affirmed that there was no mark on Ramkumar's lip that he had bitten the electrical wire. While the commission asked prison doctor Naveen Kumar about whether Ramkumar had died in the prison, he said that there was Ramkumar didn't have a heartbeat due to which he sent him to the Royapettah government hospital. As his condition can be only confirmed after taking an ECG, Naveen Kumar said that he had written that his heartbeat could have completely stopped. As the recent developments had brought the case alive, the commission had adjourned the investigation to December 7.