Chennai: Demanding a CBI probe into the suicide of a school girl, who, the party alleged, was coerced to convert to Christianity, the State unit of the BJP held a demonstration in Chennai on Saturday despite the Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board, P K Sekar Babu, making it clear that there was no scope for forced conversions in the State.
Sekar Babu made the statement on Friday evening when reporters asked him about the controversy that was being sought to be whipped up the BJP leaders, who claim that the 17-year-old girl from Ariyalur district was pressurized to convert to Christianity at the hostel in Thirukattupalli in Thanjavur district.
BJP State President, K Annamalai, released a video in which the girl says that her parents were asked if they could convert the girl to Christianity two years ago. But the Thanjavur district Superintendent of Police Ravali Priya Gandhapuneni said that there was clarity on who shot the video clip and when.
The SP said that the 12th standard student, in her dying declaration to a judicial magistrate on January 16 while undergoing treatment at hospital or in her initial complaint had not mentioned about the ‘conversion’ attempt.
So, now that the video had emerged they would like to look at the case from various angles since the parents had also alleged attempted conversion, the SP said.
The parents had initially even refused to claim the body of the girl who passed away on January 19, and the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court asked them to take possession of the body on Saturday.
But the BJP and other associated organizations have taken up the issue. The BJP has also demanded a statement from Chief Minister M K Stalin on the issue, besides escalating the situation through agitations and calling for more demonstrations in the coming days.
Reacting to the BJP’s move to politicize the suicide, State secretary of the CPM K Balakrishnan condemned the attitude of the BJP, which it said was trying to create law and order problem using the suicide. He called for all democratic forces to condemn the BJP’s moves.
However, the BJP trended a hashtag with the name of the minor girl on Twitter. ‘Govt needs to wake up n realize their blind support for missionaries cannot be at the cost of hindu lives,’ said one of the tweets.
The minor girl was staying at St Michael's Girl’s Home when she is said to have consumed pesticides. The 62-year-old warden of the home has been arrested. The charge that is sought to be made out is that the girl was asked if she could convert to Christianity two years back and since then she had been assigned to do menial chores in the home.