Lavanya suicide: HC issues directive to person who recorded video
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has asked the person, who had recorded the viral video that is at the center of the M Lavanya suicide case, to hand over his mobile phone. Lavanya, a 17-year-old schoolgirl in Tamil Nadu, had died by suicide last week. Her family has accused the school authorities of pressurizing her to convert to Christianity.
Why does this story matter?
Lavanya, a student at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School in Thanjavur, had consumed insecticide on her school campus earlier this month. She died at a medical facility on January 19. In a video statement, the girl said the school had tried to convert her. She also told the police she was forced by the hostel warden to clean rooms and toilets on the campus.
Phone will be sent to forensic lab
The man who shot the video, identified as Muthuvel, was asked to appear before the investigating officer on Tuesday and submit his phone, reported The News Minute. The court has directed the officer to send the device to the Tamil Nadu Forensic Science Laboratory in Chennai to verify the authenticity of the video. The officer has been asked to file a report by Thursday.
Next hearing on January 28
The Madras High Court is hearing a petition filed by the deceased girl's father, S Muruganantham, seeking a CB-CID inquiry into the case. He has told the court the local police are trying to manipulate the probe. The next hearing is due on January 28.
14 witnesses questioned so far
According to the investigating officer, a total of 37 witnesses, including school staffers, students, and a nurse are to be questioned in the case. Of them, 14 people have already been interrogated. Police have also arrested Sagaya Mary, the accused warden named by Lavanya in her written dying declaration. However, no action has been taken against Raquel Mary, a nun named in the video.
Incident triggers protests across India
Meanwhile, leaders of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and several right-wing Hindu organizations have been staging protests across the country to demand justice in the case. In fact, thousands of BJP workers gathered in Chennai on Tuesday as part of a protest.
Helplines for suicide prevention
In case you need help or know someone who does, you can reach out to AASRA for suicide prevention counseling. Their number is 022 2754 6669 (24 hours). You can also contact the Hyderabad-based Roshni NGO at +914066202000 or COOJ at +918322252525. Sneha India Foundation can be contacted at +914424640050. Vandrevala Foundation has trained counselors, and their number is 18602662345.Share this timeline