February 24th, 2017
After being allegedly subjected to moral policing, a 23-year-old man hanged himself from a tree near his house in Kerala’s Palakkad district. This happened on the evening of Thursday, 23 February.
The moral policing incident
Aneesh worked as a volunteer for an e-literacy programme in Kerala. On 14 February, Aneesh and his girlfriend were taking a stroll along Kollam beach.
ANI reported that Aneesh’s girlfriend moved to a secluded area of the beach to relieve herself as there were no toilets around. This was when a group of five men allegedly tried to molest her. After she called for help, Aneesh rushed to the spot. The group of men then accused them of indecency.
The men shot videos of Aneesh and the girl, asking them questions like “Would you lift your saree at the instruction of any man?” The videos were later posted online and circulated on social media.
Following this, Aneesh filed a complaint with the Kollam police and two men were arrested on the same day. Later, all five men were arrested and remanded in judicial custody.
Upset over the incident, Aneesh went into depression. He reportedly stopped going to work and did not leave his house after the incident.
Aneesh hanged himself on 23 February – less than ten days after the shameful “moral policing” incident.
Circle Inspector Siddique told The News Minute, “We have recovered a suicide note from his house and it clearly mentions the name of two men – Ramesh and Dhanesh – who were held responsible for the moral policing incident. Aneesh wrote this note in his personal diary. While rest of the note was an emotional one pondering on how his family would cope with the shock of his death, he has clearly mentioned what drove him to take his own life … The accused have already been charged under provisions of IT Act and for attacking the youth.”
Palakkad’s District Police Chief told The Logical Indian, “We have already arrested the five men responsible for the incident. After yesterday’s development, charges of abetment of suicide will also be issued against them.”
The Logical Indian take
As we wrote in a critique of another moral policing group in India, we repeat: Why are fascism-loving ruffians allowed to walk free in a democracy? Why are they so fearless in their tactics, ignorant of the consequences? Why are they not apprehended by law enforcement officials and punished according to the law they have so much disdain for?
The fact that these goons feel free to spew their hate, and assault youngsters and go largely unpunished is a testimony to the drawbacks of our law enforcement system. Meanwhile, the casualties not only include innocent citizens; they also include the Indian constitution and India’s reputation.
The Logical Indian is appalled at how moral policing is spreading like a deadly virus in the country whether it is in Kerala or other states. It has resulted in torture and even several deaths. We urge the government to take stringent measures to bring justice to Aneesh and against moral policing in general. We urge the youngsters also to stand against such cowardly practices.