Suicide Over A Selfie

Suicide Over A Selfie

A 20-year-old girl in Karnataka commits suicide over “love jihad” that never was

Any death is tragic. But, the suicide of a 20-year-old, college student in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru district is a bit more than that.

On Saturday, a group of five young men went to Dhnyashree’s house in Mudigere taluk of Chikkamagaluru, to complain to her mother that she was “involved” with a young man belonging to another community. This complaint came on a back of a selfie posted by the young woman on a WhatsApp group with her friend, a Muslim boy.

But Dhnyashree’s suicide note and the mother’s statement to the police show that the girl was not even in love with the Muslim boy with whom she had taken the selfie. This is what makes this case more tragic than many other cases of suicide.

Unfortunately, the selfie went viral and that appears to have brought the 5-man procession to her house and her subsequent suicide by hanging.

Dhnya, in fact, had been told by one of her friends in the WhatsApp group that it was not good to “love” a man from another community.

The young woman responded with a – “But, I love Muslims” – and justified it further by stating that she does not find anything wrong to be associated with members of that community.

The young woman’s phone also shows that she was informed by her friend that he would be sharing it with others. Her response was – “go ahead”.

“In the suicide note, she has mentioned that there was a photo of hers with a boy of another community. People started commenting about it and casting aspersions on the character of the girl,” K Annamalai, Superintendent of Police, Chikkamagaluru, told The Lede.

“On Saturday evening, five persons went to her house and complained to her mother that she was in love with a boy of another community. It was after this that it appears she hanged herself in her house,” he said.

The police has arrested one of the five persons who visited the house to complain to the mother. “He is a member of the BJP’s Yuva Morcha. We are on the look-out for the others as well and we will arrest them too,’’ said Annamalai.

Dhnyashree’s phone has been seized by the police and is being sent for forensic examination.

Annamalai appears determined to make this case a model to prevent future such suicides. “Whoever has criticised the girl, whether on Facebook or WhatsApp will be picked up. We believe it amounts to harassment due to which a young life was lost. We are taking this case seriously because for no fault of hers, a life has been lost.”

The latest incident comes a few days after the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) issued a set of “Do’s and Don’ts” to young Hindu girls to not interact with the Muslims and Christians. The “moral code’ was issued a day after two Hindu girls were assaulted for going with two Muslim boys to a water amusement park near Mangaluru. The Lede had reported on this “awareness campaign” by the fringe Hindu groups on January 06. The report can be found here:

The interesting aspect is that young people from both the communities have been going out together despite the moral policing that has been going in the first Hindutva laboratory, the coastal belt of Karnataka. The fear of the Hindutva forces has been that it will lead to “love jihad.”

“Love jihad” is a nomenclature wherein a Muslim young man “entices” a Hindu woman with the promise of love and forces her into marriage after conversion to Islam. There have been many cases of this kind that have landed up before the courts. But, there are also many that have been cases of “happily ever after.

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The Lede