Trigger warning: mentions suicide
A 21-years-old queer student and an LGBTQ activist from Kerala’s Kannur was found dead under mysterious circumstances on Wednesday in North Goa; friends alleged that homophobia triggered her suicide. The student identified as Anjana Harish was in Goa along with three friends for a break and was stranded there due to the nationwide lockdown. The North Goa police, however, didn’t comment on the reasons behind their death and said, “Investigation is going on, and nothing can be told right now.” However, one of her friends said that she was depressed and had suicidal thoughts.
According to EdexLive, Anjana was going through mental torture from her family over her sexuality. Her friend said, “She was subject to domestic abuse and a lot of mental torture. She was quite disturbed.” In a Facebook live video, as reported by EdexLive, which she posted two-months back, accused her family of abusing her physically and mentally. She mentioned how she was mentally tortured at a mental health centre after her family members believed that admitting her would ‘cure’ her bisexuality. “I really do not know what to say and what to do. Medicine makes me dizzy, and I am not able to see or talk properly. I have become robotic,” she said in that live video.
Kerala-based newspaper Mathrubhumi reported that, in March this year, a court in Kerala’s Hosdurg had a hearing on a missing case filed by her mother—after Anjana had fled her home because of the mental torture, saying that she is going to attend a college reunion. The court allowed Anjana to stay with a woman from Kozhikode after she contested in the court that she is not ready to go with her mother. Before she left for Goa on March 17th along with her three friends, she was living with this woman.
A friend, who was with her in Goa said, “She really wanted a break after all that she had gone through. So, we got her here.” He said that they were sitting at the hostel premise and found out that Anjana was missing suddenly. “We thought she may be around and would have gone for a walk. But we got suspicious after an hour or so. So, we went around finding Anjana hanging from a tree on a lungi. Even though we immediately rushed her to the hospital, we could not save her.”
As the police didn’t comment on what led her to death, LGBTQ activists across social media speculated and alleged that Anjana had committed suicide after facing homophobia and her family’s behaviour over her sexuality. The police didn’t reveal much about this as the investigation is still going on, and the post-mortem report is yet to be out.