‘I’m going’: Unable to attend virtual class, Kerala Dalit girl kills herself

Dalit Camera

A 14-year-old Dalit girl from Kerala allegedly committed suicide by setting herself on fire.

The 10th standard student, identified as Devika of Irimbiliyam Govt Higher Secondary School in Malappuram district took the drastic step because she could not attend online classes.

Devika had gone missing since Monday evening. Her charred body was found on Tuesday evening.

She was one of the four children of Balakrishnan and Sheeba. Balakrishnan is a contract based employee at Kerala State Electricity Board and was working on daily wages. Despite having a TV he could not recharge it due to lack of money since he was unemployed due to lockdown. He had also sustained a hand injury last week.

Devika went missing from Monday at 4 PM and in a search her charred body was recovered from the courtyard of a nearby house later. An empty kerosene bottle was lying nearby and nothing mysterious was found in the preliminary investigations by the police.

Reportedly, she had been depressed over the lack of facilities to study, parents say. Before going missing, Devika had scribbled in her notebook ‘death, death, death’.

Kerala Government has decided to start regular classes through online medium irrespective of various Dalit And Tribal activists warning that without ensuring digital infrastructure to all the students from marginalized sections, students from sections will be deprived of the fundamental right to education.

Education Minister Prof. C. Raveendranath has ordered a probe of the circumstances that led to Devika’s death, to be conducted by the District Education Officer.

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