Thanjavur: The Thirukattupalli police in the district on Friday said they have arrested the warden of a missionary school hostel here allegedly in connection with the alleged suicide of a plus-two girl student, even as the BJP alleged a conversion bid by the school management to be the cause of the suicide.
Police said the warden has been arrested and remanded. Thanjavur Superintendent of Police G Ravali Priya warned of action by invoking the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and certain IPC sections against those spreading fake news of the 17-year-old girl’s death.
“The juvenile girl consumed poison on January 9 and the Thirukattupalli police received the first information from her parents on January 15. The police registered a case under IPC section 305 (abetment of suicide of child) and sections 75 (punishment for cruelty to child) and 82 (1) (indulging in corporal punishment to discipline a child) of the Juvenile Justice Act,” Ravali Priya said. The warden was remanded after the Thanjavur judicial magistrate took the dying declaration of the girl and followed the recording of a statement by the police. “The case is now under investigation,” she said and warned against anyone circulating or revealing the identity, photo, video, address of the victimized juvenile, or her dying declaration in the social media as it is an offense.
The girl’s condition deteriorated on January 15 and she was taken to the Thanjavur College Hospital. There, she gave her declaration implicating the warden and died on January 19, said the police. According to the FIR, the student was staying at the hostel, and the warden allegedly forced her to do domestic chores on January 9. She allegedly attempted to take her life as she could not bear the cruelty.
But, the BJP members in the district claimed the girl died by suicide as she was forced to convert to Christianity. They even staged an agitation condemning the police. The party’s State president K Annamalai demanded an impartial inquiry into the case and said a fact-finding committee comprising the BJP women’s wing leaders has initiated an independent inquiry.
Demanding an end to forced conversions, Annamalai said, “The government should enact the anti-conversion law.”