Tamil Nadu Student Suicide Over Forced Conversion – Free PDF Download


What has happened?

  • The death of a class 12 student, Lavanya, in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur has taken a political turn as her family and the BJP alleged that,
  • The girl ended her life as she was constantly being pressured to convert to Christianity.

What is the case?

  • The 17-year-old Lavanya was staying in a boarding house called St Michael’s Girls’ Home in Thanjavur.
  • Lavanya was admitted to the hospital on 9 January after she started vomiting and complained of stomach ache, according to a report.
  • Her father in Ariyalur was informed about her condition on 10 January.
  • A video has surfaced, purportedly shot prior to 9 January, in which she confessed to being constantly scolded and also made to clean all the rooms in the hostel by the hostel warden.
  • She alleged in the video that she was being forced to take up Christianity.
  • It is believed she consumed pesticide in an attempt to end her life after getting disturbed by these incidents.
  • Her father then transferred Lavanya to the Tanjore Medical College Hospital, where she reportedly regained consciousness and told the doctors about her ordeal at the hostel and her attempted suicide.
  • The girl succumbed after failing to respond to treatment on 19 January.

Case registered

  • The parents filed an FIR on 15 January and on 16 January, Lavanya’s last declaration was recorded on video by the Judicial Magistrate.
  • It was only on 20 January that the parents again approached the police with the video.
  • The Thanjavur Superintendent of Police Ravali Priya Gandhapuneni toldthat there was no clarity on who shot the video and when.
  • “They asked my parents even in front of me once, ‘shall I convert your daughter to Christianity, get her education?'” the girl can be heard saying in the video.
  • She later names a nun named Rachel Mary, as her alleged harasser.
  • The police have so far arrested hostel warden Sakayamari in the case.

Twitter outburst

  • Members of Tamil Nadu BJP and some other prominent people have taken to Twitter to express theiranger over the girl’s death.
  • BJP chief K Annamalai said that it was a sad day to see the Tamil Nadu police “losing its hard earned reputation by its irresponsible statements”.

  • The judge who heard the petition instructed Thirukattupalli police to investigate the case.
  • “The Tanjore Superintendent of Police has stated that action will be taken to find the person who took the video. The body of the student has already been autopsied by the forensic doctors of Tanjore Medical College.
  • There is no suspicion of sexual harassment. Therefore, there is no need for re-examination. I request the parents of the student to retrieve the body,” the court said.
  • Thanjavur medical college hospital police have booked unknown people for recording the video under sections of IPC and Juvenile Justice Act.
  • However, police have questioned the timing of the release of the video.
  • “Had they given us the video when she was alive, we would have recorded an additional dying declaration and smoothened things out,” the SP said.

Past incidents in Tamil Nadu

  • In November 2006, there was the suicide of Omallur Sukanya. Sukanya was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the Fatima School campus, a school run by Catholic missionaries.
  • Later, forensic evidence suggested that the girl had been sexually abused.
  • In February 2009, a 12-year-old girl, Ranjita, committed suicide after she was forced to read Bible verses and was humiliated for not reading them properly.
  • Again, in 2009, in Chennai alone, there were two prominent reports of girls committing suicide in Christian mission-run schools.

Q) As per the recent National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, which among the following statement is correct?

  1. In 2020, suicides in India have decreased by 10% as compared to 2019.
  2. Suicides among student have increased by 21.20%
  3. 1 only
  4. 2 only
  5. Both 1 & 2
  6. None of the above




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