A telephonic conversation between lawyer Pushp Archana Lall, 26, who committed suicide after accusing two men of sexually harassing her, and a male acquaintance reveals she was under tremendous pressure and every effort was was made to stop her from filing a complaint. In the audio clip, she repeatedly asserts she is determined to send her tormentors to jail.
Accusing advocate Chandrakant Naik and Chetan Desai of sexually harassing her on many occasions, Lall had, on November 20 filed a criminal complaint against them at Commercial Street police station. On November 24, she was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her PG accommodation in Malleswaram.
An audio clip and WhatsApp screenshots detailing her ordeal after she decided to act against the harassment are available with police. “They are pressurizing me to such an extent that I feel they are trying to control even my breathing. They say when and how much should I inhale,” Lall says in her conversation with a man. Lall says no other girl should undergo such an ordeal.
“My culprits should go behind bars and should never work in black coats again. This is justice for me,” she says. During the 23-minute conversation, the man repeatedly urges her to withdraw her complaint. “Please think of their family. Chetan’s father is a cancer patient. Both have small children,” he tells her.
However, Pushp remains firm, saying she won’t withdraw the complaint or stop her fight against the accused. The man later tells her that if police act on her complaint, the accused could go to jail. “If that happens, do you think you can work in Bengaluru?” he asks.
She says she never thought of choosing Bengaluru as her workplace but if the accused trouble her, she’ll definitely choose to work in the city. Pushp added that she has forwarded the complaint to 14 offices including Bar Council of India, Union law minister Ravishankar Prasad, Union minister Maneka Gandhi, National Women’s Commission, Chief Justice of India and Advocate General of Karnataka high court. “They have harrased me so much that I should have either committed suicide or become mad. This is why I am fighting against them.
I shall not bow to any pressure and will send them behind bars through the court. If they continue to track my friends and build pressure, I will go before the media,” Lall asserted.
Police said they are yet to come across any evidence to conclusively establish whether Lall’s death is murder or suicide. “As of now, it’s a case of suspicious death. In a day or two, the postmortem report will reach us. We have requested the forensic science laboratory to submit the report at the earliest,” police said. Asked ábout the accused advocates, Vyalikaval police said, “We won’t name anyone until we get the FSL report and doctors confirm the cause of death.”