VJ Chitra, the late television presenter and actor, had been driven to suicide due to the stress caused by her husband Hemnath, the Chennai Police said in its report to the Madras High Court.
Two weeks after Chitra’s suicide was transferred to the Central Crime Branch on January 6, the Nazrethpettai police in Chennai submitted its report during the hearing of a bail plea of Hemnath, a Chennai-based businessman.
Chitra and Hemnath got engaged in August 2020 and were supposed to marry in February 2021. The couple, however, had a registered marriage in October 2020. On December 9, 2020 Chitra was found hanging from a ceiling fan in the bathroom of a hotel at Nazrethpettai where the couple were staying. Hemnath was arrested by the police on charges of abetment to suicide on December 14, 2020. Subsequently, Hemnath was booked under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code and lodged at the Ponneri Jail.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Nazrethpettai Police Inspector Vijayaraghavan said, “According to the report we submitted, it said that the VJ Chitra had died by suicide and the reason for her step is the stress caused by her husband Hemnath. However, since the case has been recently transferred to Central Crime Branch, they will take forth the investigation.”
Asked how the police came to the conclusion, Vijayaraghavan said, “Since the investigations are underway, we cannot reveal about it.” He said that Chitra was under stress as Hemnath had been doubting her character after he saw her enact some intimate scenes on screen.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, additional Public Prosecutor Prabhavathy said, “As per police investigation, the report declared it was suicide by hanging. The post mortem report confirmed that there were only two injuries, one each on the cheek and chin. No other external or internal injuries were found. The doctors said that that those injuries could be ligature marks from the silk saree she had worn.”
“Although the post mortem report has confirmed death by hanging, there still remains some doubt since the photos of the body do not show any visible marks around her neck. The RDO [Revenue Divisional Officer] report has confirmed that the registered marriage had happened. However, it is reported that there were talks about her character assassination by Hemnath, because of her scenes with a co-artist,” Prabhavathy added.
Following Chitra’s death, a mandatory probe was initiated by the Revenue Divisional Officer, who submitted a 16-page report after interrogating family and friends of Chitra and Hemnath. While the had probe ruled out harassment over dowry as a reason for the suicide, no further details were divulged.
Meanwhile, Hemnath was arrested on January 5 by the Central Crime Branch for cheating students by promising them seats at medical colleges to the tune of Rs 1.05 crore. The case dates back to 2015 when a complaint was filed by the parents of some students at the JJ Nagar police station in Chennai.
Hemnath is currently lodged in the Puzhal Central Jail.