The Tirupur police have arrested two men for the death of Krithiga, a 28-year-old teacher in a private school, who died after allegedly attempting home birth based on YouTube videos. Karthikeyan (Krithiga’s husband) and Praveen (the couple’s friend) were arrested by the police.
Though a case was initially registered under section 174 of the CrPC for suspicious death, it was later altered and filed under section 304A (Causing death by negligence). The police said that they decided to arrest the husband as the couple who did not believe in modern medicine, had not visited the doctor even once during the pregnancy and had opted for home delivery without proper knowledge.
But is opting for home delivery a crime? “No”, says one of the investigating officers, “The problem is that she died and her father has given a statement that he had advised the couple to meet a doctor. Moreover, they have not even registered her at an urban health centre, which is mandatory according to TN government’s rules.
A police officer from the Nallur police station, where the case was registered, spoke to TNM and said, “Initially we had put the case under section 174, but since this is a peculiar case, we wanted to get a legal opinion on this. We spoke to a lawyer, narrated the incident to him and on his advise changed the section to 304A. We questioned all the three people who were suspected of being involved in this and based on our findings, we arrested two.”
The two men will be produced in the magistrate court and remanded accordingly.
Krithiga died on July 22 after she, her husband Karthikeyan and two other friends attempted to perform home birth at the friends’ house in Tirupur. The group allegedly performed the act after watching YouTube videos.
The complaint filed by Krithiga’s father with the police said that after giving birth to a baby, Krithiga’s health declined and her husband took her to the hospital. On reaching the hospital, the doctors declared her dead and handed over the body without a death certificate or an autopsy report.
The police had earlier told TNM that preliminary investigation revealed that the family did not believe in modern medicine and hence opted to have home-birth. It is also alleged that Krithiga did not register her pregnancy at the Urban Primary Healthcare Centre concerned.
Krithiga worked as a teacher in a private school in Tirupur. This was her second pregnancy and she has a five-year-old daughter.