The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has presented its investigation report to the Tamil Nadu government, alleging evidence tampering in the Lavanya suicide case. The crime site was not roped off by authorities, according to the NCPCR’s 10-page report.
The inquiry report has been sent to the Tamil Nadu government’s chief secretary and DGP for action in the Thanjavur girl student suicide case. Following the Tamil Nadu government’s claimed lack of cooperation, a team of NCPCR officials visited the school where the deceased girl was residing in January.
The NCPCR team was told during its inspection that the school did not have separate accommodations for the children and that the hall where the deceased girl was residing had been cleaned. According to the findings, the Juvenile Justice Act was not implemented in its entirety.
It further stated that the girl’s family’s petitions regarding the alleged coercive conversion to Christianity were ignored by the investigating authorities. The report also made a number of suggestions to the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, including taking punishment against district officials who failed to act in accordance with the JJ Act in this matter.
“The NCPCR feels duty-bound to submit findings of its inquiry to assist the Court with its findings and has come to the Court in the hope that no other child suffers the same fate as the child victim and to assist the Court in reaching a fair, just, and equitable decision,” the NCPCR’s intervention application stated.
The police officials, school management, workers, Lavanya’s parents, and the doctors who treated her were all scrutinised by an NCPCR team led by Chairman Priyank Kanoongo. It was discovered that the police inquiry had gaps and that the ‘hostel’ where Lavanya was forced to reside was actually an orphanage whose licence had expired the previous year.
Lavanya, a 17-year-old Hindu girl from Michaelpatti, Thanjavur, had accused nuns at the Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School of pressuring her to convert to Christianity. In exchange, she was offered a decent education and a career. She refused to convert, and as a result, the nuns at St. Michael’s Home for Children abused her. She was assigned to clean rooms, bathrooms, maintain books, and prepare meals.
The 17-year-old Class 12 girl student said she was abused by the dormitory warden and was pressured to convert to Christianity.
The girl was transported to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital for treatment after ingesting the pesticide. She stopped responding to treatment a few days later and died on January 19. The victim was a boarding student at St Michael’s Girls’ Boarding School in Thanjavur.