It's been quite some time since we brought you the tragic reports about Lucknow schoolboy Rahul Sridharan. Months in fact. To refresh your memory, this is the teenager who apparently committed suicide by throwing himself off a fourth floor ledge at his school. The press said it was something to do with his love of Death Note. The police coroner agreed, stating officially that it was the 'Death Note Code' that led to Rahul's death.
Which was a little surprising to the rest of the Death Note fandom, as we didn't know we had such a code. Nor do we want one, thank you very much.
With all due respect to our man down, I was accordingly rather scathing about such reports, which is why Rahul's father has approached Death Note News seeking permission to publish his side of the story. Not least, his belief that his son, Rahul Sridharan, did not commit suicide. He was killed. What could we say, but yes?
Here is Mr V Sridharan's letter to the Death Note News readership, with occasional clarification notes interjected by Death Note News editor Matti.
Sub-Mysterious Death of my 14 Year Old Son Inside
La Martiniere Boys College in Lucknow on 10th April 2015
I humbly thank you for considering my letter of complaint regarding the mysterious death of my fourteen year old son, S.Rahul*, inside La Martiniere Boys College in Lucknow, around 11am on April 10th 2015.
[*Aka Rahul Sridhar in the press; S. Rahul properly, with the S representing Sridharan Rahul. Mr Sridharan told me that his son's Facebook account used the former merely as a nickname - Matti]
My son was actually very badly beaten to death by other students inside the school, but the school and the police authorities are trying to hide the truth. First they said it was a one-sided love affair. But when could not find any proof, they planted a story concerning Death Note. I filed a case against them in the High Court.
I firmly believe that the police and the school authorities were pre-determined to close the case as suicide, without proper investigation and without thorough enquiry. As was the conclusion of their Closure Report, filed on 12th October 2015.
Starting from Day One, the police and the school authorities played a pivotal role in delay tactics and destroying the evidence. For example:
- Almost all of the school's top brass was present at the Civil Hospital in Lucknow, where Rahul was declared dead for almost 2 hours.
- Most or all of the evidence at the school's crime scene had been destroyed by the school authorities. A ward-boy from the school was burning a bed-sheet soaked with my son’s blood - the video was shown on many TV channels, whereas there was no trace of blood on the spot where he was found lying.
- The police took too much time to reach the crime scene who did not take any fingerprints of my son's belongings, like his school bag, pencil box or mobile etc.
- The police recovered my son’s (S.Rahul) mobile one day after the crime. That too with all details deleted from the same location where my son reportedly jumped. The police also recovered three mobiles from my son’s schoolmate and friend - call details and all data from all four mobiles were found to have been deleted.
- The Panchanama* had only three genuine signatures with repeated signatures of the same persons. The signature of Rahul's mother was missing, but her name was included in the Panchanama.
- The police officials ridiculously quoted a non-existent ‘love affair’ over just ONE set of phone records, and a audio clip where there are constant exchanges of “Didi”, Bahin & “chhotu”. In many conversations, between Rahul and the girl on Facebook, there is NOT EVEN a trace of romance; absolutely nothing suggesting a love affair. The girl knows exactly what happened, as my son was talking to her just minutes before the incident, or crime. Even the police themselves were confused, and quoting different reasons for my son's 'suicide'.
- The police did not investigate deeply enough the girl with whom my son was talking to just minutes before his death. The police have not properly probed the murder angle, as they have only suicide in mind.
- It took seven long days of running from one police officer to another before we - as anguished parents, - could file a FIR* under sections 120B, 201 and 302. For six days after the crime, the police refused to accept one.
- Our son S.Rahul was present at the morning assembly on that Fateful day (10/04/2015), but the School Principal lied to say that my son was absent. Many of his classmates/friends have given statements to the police regarding my son’s presence in that assembly.
- In the alleged suicide note, my son has written his name as 'RAHUL SRIDHAR'. But my son never used to write like that, he always signed his name ‘S.RAHUL”. I have doubts regarding the writing of this note, but somebody could have forced my son to write it. Although Uttarprdesh Police verified that the handwriting belonged to my son.
- Most importantly, the post-mortem analysis from an independent forensic lab - TruthLab in Hyderabad - states that the post-mortem report and nature of injuries very clearly suggests that it cannot be a fall from such a height. It is a homicide (murder), NOT a suicide.
- Moreover, the FIR was filed on sections 120B, 201 and 302, but the police did not bother to touch sections 120B and 201; despite there being clear evidence proving the destruction of evidence by the school authorities and others.
Even knowing the facts listed above, the police filed their Final Report at their convenience. It was tailor-made to benefit the culprits, and this is so very unfair and unjustified.
So with all due respect I request you to do what's needful to get justice for my 14 years old innocent son, S.Rahul. I hope, Sirs and Madams, that you make every effort at your command to achieve this for my boy on the merits of the case. My son was everything to me, but I am lifeless now; fighting a lonely battle for my son’s justice with limited resources.
Sirs and Madams, I enclosed most of the documents with this letter. If you need any further documentation, I humbly request you let me know.
(Father of S.Rahul - known to us as Rahul Sridhar)
However, I can confirm that the staff of Death Note News have had sight of them and we would be happy to put you in touch with Rahul's father, if needful.
There is no attendant plan of action, nor any specific call to arms, beyond Mr Sridharan's wish to be heard and to elicit assistance in his family's fight for justice on behalf of Rahul. Do feel free to use of the comments section below to discuss this case. Those convinced by his arguments, and sympathetic to his plea, might brainstorm ideas; find ways in which they might progress. It goes without saying that all will be kept respectful. Rahul's parents are reading. Whatever your views on the matter please bear that in mind. Anyone attempting to troll will be up against me. Good luck with that.
As always our heart goes out to Rahul's family and friends. Rahul Sridharan was a Death Note fan, thus one of us - Matti