M Lavanya, a class 12 student of Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School in Thirukattupali, Thanjavur, attempted suicide after being forced to convert to Christianity and later died in Thanjavur Medical College Hospital on Wednesday, January 19 as her body did not respond to treatment by doctors.
A video has come to the police’s attention in which was Lavanya is saying that she was scolded and was made to clean all the rooms in the hostel by the hostel warden. She alleged that she was also constantly forced to take up Christianity.
Disturbed by the alleged abuse and coercion, she decided to drink pesticides and end her life. Her father, Muruganandam, was informed about it on January 10. Lavanya was first treated at a nearby clinic on January 9 but she continued to vomit and complained of stomach ache so she was admitted to the hospital.
Lavanya reportedly gained consciousness and told the doctors about her ordeal and her attempt to end her life.
“She asked my parents two years back whether I can convert to Christianity and that she will take care of my educational expenses. Since then, she made me do all the work,” the girl said in the video. The girl was staying at St Michael’s Girl’s Home in Thanjavur and hailed from nearby Ariyalur district.
That is when the doctors informed the Thirukattupalli police and they come to question Lavanya in the matter. According to reports, the police found out that the warden of the hostel was harassing Lavanya and was forcing her to convert to Christianity.
The girl’s suicide also attained political colour with Tamil Nadu BJP demanding action against “forced conversion” in the state. In a statement, state BJP chief K Annamalai raked up the incident and alleged that the FIR does not refer to the girl’s statement on attempts of “forced conversion.”
“The video statement of the girl before her death shows that the student was forced by the warden to convert. The government should order an unbiased probe into the incident and bring the accused before the law. The government should implement anti-conversion law,” BJP chief added.