A 42-year-old Hindu sadhu – Saravanan had ended his life yesterday out of humiliation and torture near Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s village, after a group of policemen led by a local sub-inspector Anthony Micheal humiliated the Hindu Sadhu.
Today, a right-wing Hindu nationalist party in Tamil Nadu, the Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) held a demonstration in Salem demanding a CBI inquiry into the incident. According to a report by Swarajya, the local organiser of the event, CM Manikandan, has alleged sub-inspector Antony Michael, who abetted the Hindu Sadhu to suicide, had beaten up the latter, as his activities were obstructing conversion efforts made by local church people.
“There is a church in the locality. Not many were going to it and the sadhu was held responsible for it. So, Michael beat him up to ensure he would not be a hurdle,” the HMK leader claimed.
The Hindu nationalist party members were probably alluding that since Saravanan tackled people complaining of being possessed by ghosts with his divine healing and holy pendant, the evangelists could not entice them to the local church, which under ordinary circumstances would stand a chance. Because of this, he was being seen as a hurdle to the church’s activities.
Hindu Sadhu Saravanan commits suicide after police officer Anthony Michael thrashes and humiliates him
We reported how on August 14, when Saravanan was treating two women, possessed by evil spirits, at his home, when SI Anthony Michael rushed to the spot and allegedly thrashed him after abusing him. Following the attack on him, the Hindu Sadhu went missing the next morning. As local people and his friends began a search next day, his friends received his video on Whatsapp in which he said that the police beating had led to his depression.
Later, on 15th August his decomposed body was found in that area and the police found a mobile near the body. “Sub-inspector Anthony Michael beat me up thinking he can do anything with the power he got,” the sadhu alleged in the video.
Family alleged police brutality as the reason for Sadhu’s death
The son and daughter of victim Saravanan had also said to the local media that the SI had brutally attacked their father.
Voices demanding justice for Saravanan gets louder on social media
A campaign seeking CBI inquiry has been launched. Emails are being sent to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take cognisance of the issue. Prime Minister’s Office attention has also been drawn towards the incident on social media. Hashtags like #JusticeForSaravanan and #ArrestAntonyMichael have been trending on Twitter, with Netizens demanding justice for the Hindu saint. The enraged social media users have also pointed out how the media in Tamil Nadu have chosen silence over the death as in this case the deceased is a Hindu.