Death of a TN girl: BJP and VHP solve the “conversion” problem

THE DEATH of a class 12 girl, days after consuming pesticides in her school hostel, snowballed into a social media campaign and led to local protests of Hindu outfits in Tanjavur on Thursday after the BJP and VHP leaders released a 47-second video of the girl allegedly accusing the school management of troubling her after she refused to convert to Christianity.

According to multiple sources, including students and relatives, the girl had asked the school for permission to go to her home in Ariyalur district on January 7. School authorities denied her permission, saying she could go home on January 10 with other students for the Pongal festival, which was on January 14.

However, on January 9, the girl consumed pesticides. The next day she returned home and was taken to a local clinic near her home on January 11 after complaining of stomach pain. They gave her medicine and she went home the same day.

On January 15, the pain worsened and she was taken to Tanjavur Medical College, where a detailed examination revealed that her liver had been badly damaged. She died Wednesday in hospital.

Tanjavur Police Superintendent G Ravali Priya told The Indian Express that they received a complaint on January 15 soon after he was admitted to Tanjavur Medical College. “It was then that she revealed that she was using pesticides. We carried out all the procedures required for a minor and a magistrate immediately videotaped his statement,” she said.

Based on the girl’s statement, a school official was arrested two days ago. “After his death on January 19, we amended the charges and charged the school official with complicity in suicide. A detailed investigation is ongoing,” SP Priya said. Asked about the attempted conversion allegation, a A police officer involved in the investigation said it was one of several charges raised by the girl in her statement.His other complaints were that she had been abused and given household chores, the agency said. officer.

The school administration was not available for comment.

On Thursday, BJP and VHP leaders released the girl’s video in which she says a school administrator asked her to convert to Christianity two years ago and she was troubled by the management for refusing. Among those who posted the video was BJP State Chairman K Annamalai.

A senior police officer and a local BJP leader said the video was not taken by the police or his parents or relatives. “She had given many reasons for the suicide attempt. And she made it clear in the video that the particular incident where management asked her and her parents to convert to Christianity for better social support happened two years ago. year. We registered a case, arrested and dismissed the culprit the next day, although the political parties did not take up the case until after his death. The video they share online today was taken before he died, but they only submitted it to police today,” the officer said.

“The video was shot by someone known to his parents and family. He is close to the BJP and VHP leadership in the locality. But for reasons such as she was a minor and the questions asked were leading, we did not use it until her death,” a senior BJP official said.

BJP state chairman Annamalai has tweeted that conversion is a “fast growing poisonous plant” in Tamil Nadu. He said many such incidents targeting poor neighborhoods occur in many places. “The central government should intervene,” Annamalai said.

Police said the girl’s statement before the magistrate appointed a school official, who was arrested. “We spoke to other school officials and several students…. there were no complaints about the conversion,” an officer said.

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