In news just in, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court (HC) has transferred the Lavanya suicide case to CBI. 17-year-old Lavanya killed herself recently and in a dying declaration said that she was being harassed to convert to Christianity by the Sacred Heart missionary residential school in Thanjavur where she was studying for the last 4 years.
However, TN Police denied any ‘religious conversion’ angle in the case and instead threatened to arrest anyone found sharing the girl’s dying declaration video. In that video, Lavanya can be heard saying that sisters of the school especially one Racheline Mary asked her parents to convert her to Christianity 2 years ago. They promised to sponsor her education if done so. But as neither the parents nor the child agreed to their ‘deal’, Lavanya was made to stay in the hostel even during holidays, forced to clean rooms, toilets and cook. Unable to bear the harassment, the girl consumed pesticide and was admitted to hospital on January 15, before passing away.
Later, the ruling DMK and its allies had tried to spin it as a ‘caste issue’. Fearing total sabotage of the investigation, Lavanya’s family had moved the court demanding CBI enquiry.
While transferring the case to CBI, the HC has asked the central investigating agency to probe the religious conversion angle & the role of Sacred Heart school, tweeted legal rights group LRPF which has been at the forefront of fighting for justice for Lavanya.
The HC judgement also reportedly talked about the prejudicial tone of the the Superintendent of Police who wanted to completely suppress the conversion angle, and also stated that as a TN minister himself had taken a public stance on the case, the state police cannot be allowed to continue the investigation and it needs to be transferred to CBI.
Astute observers of the TN socio-political scene welcomed the move, and highlighted the propaganda being run by large sections of Dravidianist media:
Good that CBI probe is ordered in the Lavanya case. The campaign of calumny unleashed against the dead girl and her family represented a new low even by RSB media standard. Believe it or not, media elements even justified torture and harassment as benign act of tough love by nun— Prasanna Viswanathan (@prasannavishy) January 31, 2022
But some others struck a note of caution on how the ruling DMK and its all-weather ally, the hierarchical Christian Church lobby, might be looking to manipulate this latest order.
HC transfers Lavanya case to CBI, calls out prejudice of Superintendent of Police & DMK minister in dismissing conversion angle.
(Hare Krsna. It is quite heartening to see that the Hon’ble High Court has taken a very good decision in this matter. The public perception is that the current ruling party is determined to derail the investigation under one or the other pretext, which is very sad indeed.
Also, one of the central ministers has reported that in Tamil Nadu, the government and the bureaucrats have shown less urgency in extending assistance for the completion of centrally sponsored projects.
Considering all these, this is a very good step. The truth will come out eventually and those who are responsible for the death of the young aspirant should be given punishment, which should be a lesson for others. Hare Krsna.