A BJP committee, constituted by the party's national president JP Nadda to inquire about the death of the 17-year-old girl in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur, has come to the state to find the fact amid the party being slammed for politicizing the issue with the claim that the girl was forced to convert to Christianity, which has abetted her to commit suicide. The committee has arrived in the state on February 1, a day after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has transferred the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to reports, the four-member committee, comprising of Sadhya Ray from Madhya Pradesh, Chitra Wagh from Maharashtra, Geetha Vivekanandha from Karnataka, and Vijayashanthi from Telangana, has met the family of the student on Tuesday and inquired about the alleged conduct of religious conversion. After meeting the parents, the committee has also met the Thanjavur District Collector and demanded justice for the deceased student.
Speaking to the reporters after meeting the Collector, actor-turned-politician Vijayashanthi said, "We spoke to the family members. We will submit a report to Nadda Ji after we gather the information and there should be justice for the girl." By instructing the young girls to face such incidents of conversion boldly, Vijayashanthi said she wanted a full stop to conversion and said that such incidents should not occur again.
It is the first time in his tenure as the BJP National President that JP Nadda has formed a committee directly to ascertain the facts in the matter when it was being probed by the Tamil Nadu police. The Central ruling party has come under the accusation that it has been involving in the matter for its bigotry politics as the girl was a Hindu and she was studying Class 12 at Sacred Heart School in Michaelpatti, Thanjavur.
She was staying at the boarding house of the school and she has died on January 19 after consuming pesticide. The video of the student speaking at the hospital before her death had gone viral and it was recorded by Muthuvel, who is the local leader of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. It has been reported that Muthuvel had recorded four videos and in all four, the girl was heard speaking about the religious conversion in only one video.
She had alleged that she was forced by the hostel warden to do extra work that had affected her studies. In most of the videos, she hadn't mentioned anything about religious conversion as the reason for her suicide. Even several residents of Michaelpatti had petitioned the Thanjavur Collector against the BJP and its religious politics. They had urged the district administration not to allow the BJP committee and said that they have been living peacefully for five generations regardless of religion.
However, BJP wishes to keep the tension boiling around her death and has been propagating that she has committed suicide for the religious conversion that was done two years ago. The girl's parents had filed their petition to the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court in which they had demanded the CB-CID probe into the girl's death by citing that they had lost their faith in the police investigations. After hearing the petition, the court has on January 31 issued an order of transferring the probe to the CBI.