#TamilNadu: Hindu Girl ends life after missionary school allegedly pressurised her to convert to Christianity to continue her study

Vishwa Bhaarath
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12th-std girl consumed pesticides in a suicide attempt after school targets her for denying to convert to Christianity

Lavanya consumed pesticide after Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School in Thirukattupalli had told her that she must convert to Christianity if she wishes to continue her studies in the school.

M Lavanya, a student of standard 12th in Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Thirukattupali in Thanjavur, Tamilnadu, killed herself after she was allegedly tortured by her school authorities for refusing to convert to Christianity. Reportedly, the school had said that she must convert to Christianity if she wishes to continue her studies in the school.
Lavanya has been living at the St. Michael’s Girls Hostel near her school for the past five years, and the govt-aided Christian missionary school had been pressuring her to convert to Christianity. However, Lavanya was adamant about not leaving her religion and refused to get converted. Angered by Lavanya’s resistance, the school administration canceled her leave application for Pongal Celebrations. Lavanya who was supposed to visit home during her holidays was forced to do chores like cleaning toilets of the school, cooking, and washing dishes. It is reported that dejected Lavanya consumed pesticides used in the school garden to end her life.

Lavanya showed signs of discomfiture on the night of January 9, where she was taken to a local clinic after continuously vomiting. The warden of the hostel called her parents and asked them to take her home. Lavanya was then admitted to Tanjore Government Medical college hospital. She was being treated in the ICU with almost 85% of her lungs intoxicated. It is being reported that Lavanya breathed her last on January 19, battling her condition in the hospital.

A video of Lavanya’s call for help was published on social media where she was seen in an unconscious situation talking about her torture. The video, originally in Tamil (translated by The Commune) says, “My name is Lavanya. They (school) had asked my parents in my presence if they can convert me to Christianity and help her for further studies. Since I didn’t accept, they kept scolding me.” She also named one Rachael Mary who had allegedly tortured her.

Lavanya’s relatives gathered in front of the Thirukattupalli police station on January 17 and protested demanding action against the school. They alleged that Lavanya had consumed pesticides as the hostel warden Sagayamary had forced her to convert.

Taking cognizance of the incident, Hindu organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Munnani, and political outfit Indu Makkal Katchi have raised voices for demanding justice to Lavanya and against the predatory proselytization of Hindus. VHP State Spokesperson Arumuga Kani said, “The Vishwa Hindu Parishad will not rest until justice is given to Lavanya. As a first step, VHP is to hold a hunger strike today (19th January) under the leadership of Thanjavur district secretary Muthuvel. We need to ensure that such incidents don’t happen again. Until then, we will protest.”

Founder of Indu Makkal Katchi, Arjun Sampath took on Twitter to announce the death of Lavanya and has raised serious questions about the school administration.
The cases of deaths over targetted conversions of Hindus are rampant while the mainstream media refuses to cover them. A similar incident happened in Tripura in 2019 when a 15-year-old student died after being brutally tortured by a hostel warden for opposing forceful conversion to Christianity. Also, In in Tamil Nadu, an activist was brutally murdered after he attempted to stop the forceful conversion of Hindus by Muslim outfits.

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