Unveiling the Dual Fate of Suicides: From Institutional Murder to Natural Death – The Kerala Paradox

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Shraddha’s Suicide and Institutional Murder

Following her death, the college students staged a massive protest on June 5 alleging that it was mental torture by the college authorities that led to Sharaddha’s suicide.

Shraddha Satheesh, a resident of Ernakulam, was found hanging inside her hostel room on June 2. She was a food technology student at the Kanjirapally Amal Jyoti Engineering College. Following her death, the college students staged a massive protest on June 5 alleging that it was mental torture by the college authorities that led to Sharaddha’s suicide.

The students alleged that the management was trying to suppress their protest by closing down the institution and asking them to vacate hostels so that everyone goes home. “They are calling up our parents and asking them to take us home,” students told TV channels.

Visuals also showed a large number of students protesting and shouting slogans outside the main college building inside the campus, and a large police contingent in riot gear deployed to keep them in check.

On Monday, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the students’ wing of the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala, had marched to the private engineering college in Kanjirappally near here protesting against the alleged suicide of the student.

Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the students’ wing of the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala, had marched to the private engineering college in Kanjirappally near here protesting against the alleged suicide of the student.

Minister of Higher Education R Bindu after meeting the students who protested and the management of the Amal Jyothi Engineering College assured that the Crime Branch will investigate the death of Shraddha. 

The college management on the other hand stated that they are open for any investigations on this incident.

A day after the State government announced a Crime Branch probe into the death, the police confirmed the recovery of a suicide note left by the victim. “The black trousers I borrowed from you are kept on the bed. I am leaving,” the letter found in her room said. “The note, however, does not specify any reasons for her taking the extreme step. The cell phone and laptop used by the victim have been sent for a forensic examination,” said K. Karthik, District Police Chief, Kottayam.

Riots, protests, slogans, #justiceforShradha all around.

Arun’s Suicide and Suicide due to Depression

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Arun had been residing alone in his room at the hostel. Preliminary reports suggest that he died by suicide.

Arun Raj A R of Charuvilla  Puthen Veedu at Maloor in Pathanapuram was found hanging from the roof of the room on June 6, Tuesday night. He was a second-year engineering student of Thodupuzha Al Azhar College of Engineering and Technology.

According to the police, Arun Raj had written on his social media page that he was going to die by suicide at around 11 pm on Tuesday. His friends who saw the post, immediately alerted the Thodupuzha police who rushed to the hostel.

However, by the time the police team reached the hostel, Arun Raj had died.

Police said Arun Raj was suffering from depression for quite some time which might have forced him to take the step. 

Asmiya’s Death in Residential Madrassa and silence

(India Posts English)

Asmiya, a 12th-standard student, was found hanging inside the library of Al Aman Educational Complex at Balramapuram in Thiruvananthapuram on May 13. The Balramapuram Police lodged an FIR for unnatural death. Asmiya, the daughter of Rahmathu Beevi and Nasirudeen, was inside the hostel within the complex when she called her mother and told her that she was being harassed by a teacher.

“It was a distress call,” Firoz, the cousin brother of Asmiya, tells Outlook.

Asmiya told her mother that she was being harassed, although not sexual in nature. She was not allowed to talk to her friends.

Firoz tells Outlook, “The teacher was very strict and did not allow her to go home and meet her family members. But she wanted to. Her mother and grandmother rushed to the hostel and reached there within a few hours after receiving the call but the principal was not there at the institution. The teachers, who were present, refused to let Amiya’s mother inside.”

Initially, Asmiya’s mother was told that her daughter was in the bathroom.  A call to the principal was not of any help, as he allegedly spoke very rudely to them. Instead, he complained against Asmiya and said that she “was very disobedient and a lesson must be taught”.

“Asmiya’s mother and grandmother barged into the room and searched her everywhere. They could not find her in the bathroom. Finally, they found her hanging inside the library room. They immediately took her to the hospital, but she was gone,” says Firoz. 

According to Firoz, it was the first time that she expressed grievance about some kind of harassment at the institution. She had raised no such complaint before.

Asmiya joined Al Aman Educational Institution, which is a residential madrassa and regular school, in 11th standard. Asmiya’s mother makes a living by doing menial jobs as a helper in preparing rice flour. Her father Nasirudeen went missing in the 2017 Ockhi Cyclone and could not be traced. Asmiya’s education was not free at Al Aman. 

“Her father’s brother and his family are relatively well off. They are all settled in the Gulf and he was supporting her monthly expenses at the hostel. They were paying around Rs 6,000 per month for her stay and studies,” says Firoz, who denies the media reports that it was an orphanage where children are given education free of cost.

The students were allowed to make calls to their parents once a week. “They allow children to go home only on special occasions or whenever there is an emergency,” says Firoz. 

The incident has led to widespread protests in Kerala with ‘#JusticeForAsmiya’ taking over social media

“This is an institutional murder,” writes Jamshid Pallipram on Facebook. In a post that went viral, he raised the demand that the government should make regulations to monitor such institutions. 

“She was a smart and happy child. We don’t believe that she had to take her own life. Someone is involved in her death. We have to find it out. We lost our child, but we will fight this to put an end to this kind of harassment happening in religious institutions,” says Firoz.

The police have given a letter to the Collector in the case of the death of Asmiya mol in a madrasa at Balaramapuram. According to the letter, the police said that the madrasa do not have any approval for functioning. It was apparent earlier itself that the institution had no approval for maintaining hostel and other educational buildings.

A demand has come up to investigate which all departments’ approval the madrasa had received.

The police said that they are at the final stage of investigation in to the reason for Asmiya mol’s death. The investigation team is trying to find it if they can charge abatement to suicide in the case. As part of the investigation, the police have recorded the statement of Asmiya’s relatives, classmates, teachers, etc. Some were summoned to the police station to record statements.

The investigation team visited the madrasa and collected every documents related to Asmiya, including attendance register. They have also collected information concerning the registration of the institution. The investigation is led by Neyyattinkara ASP.

Asmiya mol was found hanging in the college library. However, the girl’s relatives say that she will never commit suicide. The family of the victim had demanded a detailed investigation into her death.

Asmiya’s mother told media that her daughter had complained that an Usthad and a teacher was abusing the child.

Despite Concrete Evidence of Institutional Murder, No Protests or Outcries Against the Culprits.

Kerala Paradox

(Photo credit: TFI Post)

Kerala, renowned for its diversity and harmonious coexistence of different communities, has recently witnessed a concerning pattern of contrasting reactions to issues plaguing Christian institutions compared to other minority-run establishments. While incidents occurring within Christian schools, hospitals, and orphanages often lead to slogans, protests, and strikes, more severe instances within institutions of other religious affiliations receive little attention. This disparity in responses has prompted discussions surrounding a perceived agenda to dismantle Christian institutions.

Numerous examples highlight the stark contrast in reactions between these different institutions. Recent controversies within Christian-run establishments have triggered widespread public outrage, drawing attention to alleged mismanagement or acts of cruelty. However, when similar or even more heinous incidents unfold within other minority-run institutions, the response seems disproportionately muted.

Critics argue that this disparity in reactions suggests a clear agenda aimed at undermining Christian institutions. They assert that the selective focus on controversies within Christian establishments, while turning a blind eye to similar issues in other minority-run organizations, perpetuates an imbalance and fosters a climate of bias.

To address these concerns, on June 9, the Kanjirappally Diocese staged a protest, rallying against what they perceive as a concerted effort to target and destroy Christian institutions. Through their peaceful demonstration, the diocese aimed to shed light on the unequal treatment and to call for a fair and consistent response to issues affecting all religiously-affiliated establishments in the state.

The protest served as a platform to express the diocese’s worries about the fairness and impartiality of public scrutiny. It urged authorities and society at large to ensure that every institution, regardless of its religious identity, is subject to the same level of accountability and transparency.

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