BJP national president J P Nadda on Thursday constituted a four-member committee to ascertain the facts leading to a 17-year-old girl student’s death by suicide in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu earlier this month, and submit a report to him soon.
The panel, comprising Parliamentarian Sandhya Ray from Madhya Pradesh, Vijayashanti from Telangana, Chitra Tai Wagh of Maharashtra and Geetha Vivekananda of Karnataka, would visit Thanjavur to ascertain the facts.
”The committee would submit a report to him at the earliest,” Arun Singh, BJP national general secretary, said. The suicide of the plus two student stoked a row in the state with the BJP and Hindu organisations alleging that her death was triggered by an attempt to forcibly convert her to Christianity – a charge denied by the authorities and school management.
Nevertheless, the BJP members led by party chief K Annamalai staged a day-long fast agitation at Valluvar Kottam here on January 25 demanding justice to the girl and also a CBI probe into her death besides a legislation for anti-conversion to prevent forcible conversions in the state.
”The BJP has expressed its deep concern and sorrow on the suicide of the girl due to harassment and coercion to get converted by school management in Thanjavur,” Arun Singh, who is also BJP headquarters in-charge, said in a statement.
The girl of a missionary school in Thanjavur consumed poison on January 9 and breathed her last on January 19. Based on her declaration, the Thirukattupalli police arrested and remanded the school hostel warden.
Following the death, the Fransciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which runs the school in which the girl had studied, denied the allegation of forced conversion.
School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, claiming the charge to be very remote, recently said that an inquiry in all aspects is apace.
However, the girl’s parents on Monday wanted the case to be transferred to the Crime Branch CID for an impartial probe.