An 18-year-old nursing student was strangled to death by three Dalit youth. The girl had rejected the advances by one of the perpetrators of the crime. This led to outrage by netizens from Tamil Nadu. They started to trend the hashtag #JusticeForSaraswathi.
Saraswathi, an 18-year-old nursing student from Deviyanandala, Ulundurpet was strangled to death. Raveendran, his friend Rangaswamy and his brother killed her for rejecting Raveendran’s proposal. The incident came to light after the father of the deceased lodged a complaint related to the murder at the Thirunavalur Police station stating he was suspicious about the manner of her death.
During the investigation, Raveendran was having an affair with the deceased. The parent of Saraswathi fixed her marriage with someone else. Made aware of the developments, Raveendran was in a fit of rage. He tried to convince her to marry him. She rejected his proposal. Unable to handle the rejection, he strangled her to death. Thirunavalur police inspector S Sreenivasan said, “Raveendran confessed to murdering the teen girl by strangling her using her dupatta.”
Political parties are trying to use the issue for political gains. PMK founder S Ramadoss demanded that stringent sections of the Indian Penal Code are invoked against the accused. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has put up posters condemning the incident.
Why Did It Trend Online?
The news of the incident broke first on social media platforms Twitter and Facebook. Netizens soon started trending #JusticeForSaraswathi to express outrage against the gruesome murder. There are allegations that the accused belong to the political outfit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi. This saw hashtag #BanVCK trend along with #JusticeForSaraswathi.
Speculations are rife about the misuse of the ‘The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It is alleged that Raveendran followed her around and threatened to implicate her in a case under the SC/ST Act.
Of late, an increased number of cases of the misuse of the SC/ST Act have come to light. In Maharashtra, Range Forest Officer Dipali Chavan-Mohite committed suicide. She wrote in her suicide note, she was harassed by Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Vinod Shivakumar. He threatened to implicate her in a case under the SC/ST Act.
The case of Vishnu Tiwari is more prominent. He was implicated for rape and atrocities against the SC/ST Act. He spent 20 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. The outrage of the netizens trending #JusticeForSarawathi is also against the hypocrisy of media. They have questioned national news networks for not carrying the story on their channels and in their newspapers.