Queer Anjana’s death: Activists slam mob trials and media harassment against friends of deceased

More than a hundred rights activists, writers, film workers, and academicians demanded a thorough and transparent legal investigation into the death of Queer person from Kerala, Anjana Hareesh. 

“A thorough and transparent legal investigation must be conducted into the institutionalized murder of Queer person, Anjana Hareesh,” reads a joint statement endorsed by award-winning writer KR Meera, film director Muhsin Parari, scriptwriters Harshad and Suhas, actors Lali P.M, Lakshmi Marakkar, and Joly Chirayath, musician Ajith Kumar A.S, Queer activists Deepa Vasudevan, Sheethal Shyam, and Muhammed Unais, Dalit activists Rekha Raj and Mrudula Devi S and student activist Ladeeda Farzana.

The letter was also undersigned by academics including M.H. Illyas, J.Devika, O.K. Santhosh, K.Ashraf, Sadique P. K, Arun Ashokan, Narayanan M. Sankaran, KS Sudeep, S Ajay Shekhar and writer K.K Baburaj.

Anjana Hareesh, also known as Chinnu Sulfikar, was found dead in Goa on May 12. She was 21 years old and a student at the Brennen College in Thalassery. The postmortem report of Anjana certifies the cause of death as asphyxia due to ante-mortem hanging, said Goa Police.

The statement also raised concerns about the mob trials, social ostracisation, and media harassment that are faced by Anjana’s friends Gargi, Naseema, Shabari, Athira, and Sulfath and said these are “undemocratic and unjust in nature.”

“It is a time when sexual minority communities are fighting in the political and legal arena against Queer phobia and other forms of discrimination that are deeply ingrained in society. Their struggles for social security includes the demand for shelter homes and other affirmative actions. These priorities are often sabotaged when the death of a Queer person is used as a chance to take political vengeance and spread hatred,” it said.

Anjana’s friends continue to be victims of extreme humiliation and hate-mongering

The activists said that the specific prejudices, preconceived notions, and hatred of the Queer community are widespread in the wake of the incident.

“Gargi and Naseema, who politically identify themselves in the Queer-Bahujan-Muslim-Feminist positions, disability rights activist Sabari, Dalit student Athira and Sulfath with a Queer-Muslim identity, continue to be victims of extreme humiliation and hate-mongering because of their political and communitarian stance and views. They have already been subjected to this type of mob trials and character defamation,” the statement adds.  

The cyberbullying, false propaganda, hate-mongering, and the media hunt against individuals Anjana’s friends must be stopped and avoided at all costs before the actual legal inquiry and trial, the activists demanded.

Sangh Parivar’s queerphobic campaign

“Campaigns spreading Islamophobia and Homophobia are being carried out by the Sangh Parivar and medias aligning to them, along with propagating baseless allegations against independent groups with pro-queer stances,” the statement claims. 

The activists also said that a Sangh Parivar organization Hindu Democratic Front should be investigated in detail related to the treatment of Sexual Orientation Conversation Therapy which Anjana spoke against days before her death on social media.

“As Anjana made clear in her public remarks, the role of Hindutva organizations such as the Hindu Democratic Front should be investigated in detail related to the treatment of Sexual Orientation Conversation Therapy. Thorough steps must be taken to shut down such centers,” it said.

A group of SFI activists joins the Hindutva campaign”

“A group of SFI activists who are involved in the same campaign as of the right-wing Hindutwa has also been speculating against minority groups with vengeance. The violent majoritarian language of homophobia thickens and constantly emerges from this politics of hatred. They constantly blame and accuse dissenters and people with differences of opinion based on the particular moral conscience of Left organizations,” the statement criticizes.

“The propaganda that harms the individual rights and privacy of people who hold different views and voice their dissent is an inherent trait and product of everyday fascism,” it said.

Media harassment

Activists accused of Mainstream media for remaining as a tool that sways with the status quo, propagating social prejudices against Queer, Dalit-Bahujan, Muslim, and Disability rights activists who become the main targets for their hate and violence.

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