MLA says girl’s suicide due to pressure on conversion, seeks CBI probe


PTI, Jan 22, 2022, 6:22 PM IST

Chennai: : MLA and president of All India Mahila Morcha Vanathi Srinivasan on Saturday expressed the need for a CBI inquiry into the alleged suicide of a 17-year-old school student who, the MLA said, was driven to death owing to torture for forcible conversion.

In a video message, the student had named a few people in the school for the pressure brought upon her for religious conversion and that forced to take the extreme step, said the MLA in a statement here. The video could lend credence to the declaration the girl made while dying, said the statement. Blaming the police for not taking action on the complaint from the student’s parents, the MLA said the warden of the school hostel was taken into custody only after protests.

Thanjavur Superintendent of Police Ravali Priya said there was no proof that suicide was the result of torture for conversion, said the MLA. Considering this, the MLA said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin should let some other police officer probe into the matter and announce a compensation for the girl’s parents. The girl consumed poison on January 9 and the Thirukattupalli police received the first information from her parents on January 15. The warden was remanded after the Thanjavur judicial magistrate took the dying declaration of the girl and following the recording of statement by the police. “The case is now under investigation,” she said and warned against anyone circulating or revealing the identity, photo, video, address of the victimised juvenile or her dying declaration in the social media as it is an offence.

The girl’s condition deteriorated on January 15 and she was taken to the Thanjavur College Hospital. There, she gave her declaration implicating the warden, and died on January 19, said the police. According to the FIR, the student was staying at the hostel and that the warden allegedly forced her to do domestic chores on January 9. She allegedly attempted to take her life as she could not bear the cruelty.

But, the BJP activists in the district claimed the girl died by suicide as she was forced to convert to Christianity. They even staged an agitation condemning the police. The party’s State president K Annamalai demanded an impartial enquiry into the case and said a fact-finding committee comprising the BJP women’s wing leaders has initiated an independent enquiry.

Demanding an end to forced conversions, Annamalai said, “The government should enact the anti- conversion law.”

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