Reserved hostel attendant under the Juvenile Justice Act

Thirukattupalli Police have brought a case under the Juvenile Justice Act against the manager of a girls’ home run by a Christian missionary organization in Budalur taluk following the death of an inmate by suicide.

According to the FIR, Michalepatti’s Class XII daughter was staying at the school hostel. She alleged that the manager reprimanded her and ordered her to do household chores on January 9 and subjected her to cruelty. Unable to bear this, she would have tried to end her life.

She was taken to a nurse’s home by the hostel cook, where she was given an injection and prescribed medication.

The next day she was handed over to her parents residing in Vadugampalayam near Ariyalur and on 15 January she was taken to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital as her condition deteriorated. The girl gave a statement to the police implicating the director and died on January 19 in hospital.

Police arrested the 67-year-old guard under Sections 75 (sentence for cruelty to a child) and 82[1] (carrying out corporal punishment for the purpose of disciplining a child) of the Juvenile Justice Act and Article 305 of the IPC (incitement to suicide of a child or insane person) and Article 511 (penalty for attempt to commit offenses punishable by life imprisonment or other terms of imprisonment). After his death, additional charges would be brought against the accused, police said.

Meanwhile, a video clip of the girl, apparently recorded in hospital, claiming that the director had constantly asked her and her family members to convert to religion, was shared on social media. .

On Thursday, his family members and BJP cadres led by the party’s state deputy chairman, Karuppu Muruganandam, staged a protest on Medical College Road demanding that the headmaster be booked for attempted religious conversion. The agitators were arrested and released.

Ensure a fair investigation

Meanwhile, BJP State Chairman K. Annamalai has urged the government to ensure a fair investigation into the attempted religious conversion allegation. He said the FIR did not mention “forced conversion”.

He also called for the enactment of an “anti-conversion” law.

(Assistance in overcoming suicidal thoughts is available at the state health hotline 104 and the Sneha suicide prevention hotline 044-24640050.)

Linda G. Ibarra