CBI to Probe Schoolgirl’s Suicide in TN’s Thanjavur, Says Madras HC

The Madras High Court on Monday handed over probe into the alleged suicide of a 17-year-old girl in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) amid allegations of a forced conversion attempt.

The Class 12 student of a missionary school in Thanjavur had died on January 19 in Thanjavur College Hospital, 10 days after an alleged suicide attempt. The girl had on January 15 given her declaration implicating the warden. According to the FIR, the student was staying at the school hostel and the warden allegedly forced her to do domestic chores on January 9. The Thirukattupalli police had arrested the warden after the Thanjavur judicial magistrate took the girl’s dying declaration.

BJP members and right-wing groups in the district, however, claimed that the girl had died by suicide as she was “forced” to embrace Christianity.

Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi had said last week that authorities are conducting enquiries with current and former students to verify the claim.

“Though the school is run by Christian missionaries, a fairly large number of Hindu students study in this school. Though the allegation of coercing the girl to convert to Christianity appears to be remote, enquiries with the students and those who had passed out from the school are on,” the minister had said.

According to a report in news agency PTI, Poyyamozhi had denied that the warden, a senior citizen, could have attempted to forcibly convert the girl or her parents. “This appears to be untrue as the warden who has already been arrested, had paid the student’s fee,” the minister said.

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