Kerala: Moral policing victim assaulted, filmed on Valentine's Day, found hanging outside home
The incident was not the only of it's kind as moral policing is common in Kerala and elsewhere in the country and young couples are often a soft target.
A 23-year-old man who was attacked and humiliated along with his female friend in Kerala on Valentine's Day was found hanging outside his home in Karara, Palakkad.
On 14 February, Aneesh and his friend were assaulted by five men near a beach in Kollam. They also filmed the couple and asked the woman humiliating and obscene questions, according to The Indian Express. Even though the police had arrested the miscreants, the video of the couple was later circulated on social media and WhatsApp groups, which according to Aneesh's friends, had caused him much distress, as reported in the news article.
On the day of the incident, Aneesh's friend had moved behind a heavy foliage to relieve herself, due to the lack of toilets in the area, when the couple was accosted by five men. The miscreants not only assaulted and shamed the couple but even videotaped the entire charade. Aneesh had filed a police complaint after which the accused were nabbed, but according a report in News 18 he was finding it hard to cope up with the public shaming. The news report states that Aneesh had refused to step out of his home ever since the incident.
Another report in NDTV states that a suicide note has also been recovered, which reportedly cites the Valentine's Day incident as the cause behind Aneesh taking the extreme step.
The report also added that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had taken exception to the incident and asked the police to take prompt action, but the social stigma associated with such incidents depresses the victims that often retributive action falls short of addressing.
Aneesh was the son of a daily wage labourer and used to work as a coordinator of an e-literacy programme in Attapady, Palakkad. His body was found by his mother on Thursday night after she returned from work, according to India Today.
It was not a one-off incident as moral policing is common in Kerala and elsewhere in the country and young couples are often a soft target. Another incident was reported just days ago from the state, when another couple were forced to call out the cops on social media who were harassing them in the name of moral policing.
According to NDTV, Vishnu and Arathi were at a public park in Thiruvananthapuram, when some women constables detained them on the allegations of indulging in vulgar behaviour in public places. But Vishnu argued with the police personnel, questioning what exactly did he do wrong in their opinion and live streamed the entire episode on Facebook, which drew much flak to the Kerala police.
"Tell us what vulgar activity have we committed? Did we kiss? There are cameras here. Did we hug each other? You can't harass us just because we have our arm on each other's shoulder," the NDTV report quoted Vishnu from the video as saying.
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