A girl named Muruganandam Lavanya, a 12th-grade student at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Thirukattupali in Thanjavur, Tamilnadu committed suicide after allegedly being tortured by school officials for refusing to convert to Christianity. According to reports, the school told her that if she wanted to continue her studies, she needed to convert to Christianity.
Lavanya had been living at the St. Michael’s Girls Hostel near her school for five years, and the government-funded Christian missionary school had been pressuring her to convert. Lavanya, on the other hand, was adamant about not abandoning her faith and refused to be converted. The school administration, enraged by Lavanya’s defiance, cancelled her Pongal Celebrations leave application.
On the night of January 9, Lavanya showed signs of discomfort and was taken to a local clinic after vomiting constantly. Her parents were called by the hostel warden and asked to take her home. Lavanya was then taken to the Government Medical College Hospital in Tanjore. With nearly 85 per cent of her lungs intoxicated, she was treated in the ICU. According to reports, Lavanya died on January 19 after battling her illness in the hospital.
On social media, a video of Lavanya’s cry for help was shared, in which she was seen in an unconscious state talking about her ordeal. “My name is Lavanya,” the video says in Tamil (translated by The Commune).
“In my presence, they (the school) had asked my parents if they could convert me to Christianity and assist her with her studies. They continued to scold me because I refused.” She also named a woman named Rachael Mary as the alleged torturer.
On January 17, Lavanya’s relatives protested in front of the Thirukattupalli police station, demanding that the school be shut down. They claimed Lavanya ate pesticides after being forced to convert by hostel warden Sagayamary.
Deaths as a result of targeted Hindu conversions are becoming common day by day. Warden Sahaya Mary was detained, according to the complaint (62). Due to her inability to respond to the therapy, Lavanya died. In Thirukattupalli, the incident has caused quite a stir.