A month after a 17-year-old Lavanya committed suicide following allegations of coercion to convert to Christianity by her school in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) MLA Inigo Irudayaraj felicitated the hostel warden accused of torturing Lavanya, reported The Commune.

As per a report in Samayam, the Trichy East MLA felicitated the accused hostel warden Sagaya Mary with a shawl outside the Trichy Central jail, after she was released on bail by the Thanjavur District Court.

It must be mentioned that the 17-year-old Lavanya had revealed in her dying declaration that the hostel caretaker Sagaya Mary harassed her for not converting to Christianity. The deceased Hindu girl had informed how she was forced to cook, keep books and clean toilets.

Hindupost reported that the DMK MLA Inigo is also the convenor and founder of the Christian Goodwill Movement. He had also organised an event where a Christian priest openly delivered a hate speech against the Hindu community.

“The majority (Hindus) are nothing but mosquitoes and can be easily swatted away,” the priest had remarked. Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the DMK MLA was also seen vying for consolidation of Christian and Muslim vote bank to defeat the BJP in the Southern State of Tamil Nadu.

Lavanya suicide case

Lavanya was a 12 standard student at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School in Michaelpatti near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. She had committed suicide on January 19 this year by consuming pesticides after being forced by the school to convert to Christianity.

The Tamil Nadu government, media and police had tried to suppress the conversion angle in the case and had ignored the dying declaration, prompting her family to approach the HC seeking a CBI inquiry.

On January 31, 2022, The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court had ordered the transfer of the Lavanya suicide case to the CBI, a decision upheld even by the Supreme Court of India. This came after the victim’s father had filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a CBI probe into the matter, alleging that the investigation by state police was not going in the right direction.

The government, which has been denying the conversion angle right from the start had filed an SLP with the apex court through the DGP challenging validity of the HC decision. The DGP had also challenged the remarks of the Madras High Court against the State Police for their inaction and lack of concerted effort in investigating the angle of conversion

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