Tamil Nadu girl dies by suicide: HC transfers case to CBI


CHENNAI:

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday transferred the case of the death by suicide of a 17-year-old girl in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, from the local police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). at his father’s request amid allegations of forced conversion.

Judge GR Swaminathan ordered the transfer to the federal agency days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released a 45-second video in which the girl is allegedly heard saying that the principal of a Christian boarding school, where she studied, asked her parents to convert to Christianity. Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Muthuvel filmed the video on January 17 as the girl was fighting for her life in a hospital. Muthuvel’s mobile phone was sent to a forensic laboratory in Chennai for examination as per court instructions.

The BJP has called for a CBI investigation into the case and last week party leader JP Nadda set up a committee to investigate the suicide.

The Franciscan Sisters of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who run the 160-year-old school in Thanjavur, have denied the conversion charge saying they provide secular education for all in line with the Indian Constitution.

BJP leaders welcomed the High Court order. “The fight will continue until justice is served,” BJP leader BL Santosh tweeted. On Sunday, BJP Head of State K Annamalai, who led a delegation that visited the girl’s family, called Tamil Nadu’s intelligence service incompetent and questioned whether it gave “a real briefing to the Chief Minister” on the case.

A team from the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights is also in Thanjavur in connection with this case.

A magistrate recorded the girl’s statement three days before her death on January 19. In the statement, a copy of which HT has seen, the girl blamed her 74-year-old caretaker for torturing, beating and scolding her. work and check hostel accounts.

The Thanjavur district education officer looked into the matter and noted in a report that no religious conversion complaints had been filed against the girls’ school for a decade. The report says more Hindu students have studied at the school than Christians and Muslims.

Last week, TV stations released a longer version of the music video Muthuvel allegedly recorded showing the girl blaming only the manager. She is heard saying that she couldn’t concentrate on her studies. Amid reports that a distress call was made to Childline two years ago when the girl’s stepmother allegedly harassed her, police were also investigating her situation at home.

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