The allegation of forced conversion in the case of a girl who died of suicide in Tamil Nadu has shaken the nation. But at the same time, the media is trying to whitewash the case by finding non-existing loopholes in the dying declaration of the victim. Recently, The News Minute has published a report in which they said there are four videos of Lavanya, and only one of them mentions conversion. The report tried to whitewash the entire case of forcing the girl to convert to Christianity just because she talked about conversion in only one video.
TNM claimed Lavanya took her life as hostel warden gave her extra work
In the report, TNM alleged that Lavanya ended her life because the hostel warden gave her extra work that resulted in her falling behind in her studies. Lavanya, who lived in a boarding house of Sacred Hearts Higher Secondary School in Michaelpatti in Thanjavur, died of suicide at the hospital. Before dying, she had recorded a statement where she alleged the school administration forced her to convert, and had forced her to do chores for refusing to convert.
Only of the videos recorded by VHP’s secretary talked about conversion
TNM specifically mentioned in the report that the videos were recorded by Muthuvel, who is Ariyalur district secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. It further pointed out that there were four videos on Muthuvel’s phone that he recorded on January 17. Out of these videos, TNM said the Police believed one of the videos was deleted but later recovered.
TNM’s report read, “However, the investigating agencies have managed to retrieve the video from his phone as he had received it as a forward from another person. The Police are investigating if Muthuvel forwarded the video to someone else before deleting it, and it eventually came back to his phone as a forward.”
It further asserted that as only one of the videos mentioned conversion, there was a possibility she was tutored to talk about the conversion angle. It said, “Since, in the newly leaked video, she even denies that she was forced not to wear a bindi. The Police are investigating this angle too.” It is noteworthy just because the conversion angle was talked about only in one video and not the others, it does not mean that she was not forced to convert.
The media has downplayed incidents earlier in a similar way
This is not the first time media tried to downplay the incident by using videos of the deceased. In June 2021, a man identified as Mukesh was burnt alive at the Tikri border, one of the sites of farmers protest. Initially, it was reported that he had set himself ablaze in protest of the three now-repealed agriculture laws.
However, later, more videos of the incident came out in which Mukesh gave a statement before succumbing to injuries. In his statement, Mukesh said that the farmers at the Tikri border, specifically a man in a white kurta, had set him on fire. When the police official asked him specifically if he set himself on fire or it was the farmers who set himself on fire, to this, he clearly said that it was the farmer and he did not set fire to himself. However, the media used the vague videos posted by the Kisan unions stating it was Mukesh who had burnt himself.