Published: 15th May 2020
A 21-year-old queer student dies in Goa. Homophobia triggered her suicide, say friends
Anjana Harish was a student of Government Brennen College, Kannur. She had gone to Goa a few days before the lockdown
On March 13, a few days before the nationwide lockdown began, Anjana Harish, a 21-year-old student from Kannur had put up a live video on Facebook. An openly queer person, Anjana, in that video had accused her family of abusing her physically and mentally. She also recalled incidents of solitary confinement inside a cell at a mental health centre because her family believed that they could "cure bisexuality."
"I really do not know what to say and what to do. The medicine makes me dizzy and I am not able to see or talk properly. I've become robotic," she is heard saying. Two days ago, Anjana was found hanging from a tree in Hosdurg in Goa. While there are speculations about a foul play in the student's death, queer activists across social media have called out Anjana's family and have accused them of being homophobic, which, they said, triggered the student's suicide. Her friends who were with her a few hours before her death say that Anjana's was a suicide prima facie.
"We were sitting at the premises of the hostel where we were staying. Sometime later, we realised that we could not find Anjana anywhere," says a friend of Anjana's. "We thought she may have around and would have gone for a walk. But we got suspicious after an hour or so. So, we went around to find Anjana hanging from a tree on a lungi. Even though we immediately tried rushing her to the hospital, we could not save her," he says, adding that Anjana was depressed for a long time and had suicidal thoughts.
Anjana had reached Goa with three of her friends a few days before the lockdown started."She was subject to domestic abuse and a lot of mental torture. She was quite disturbed," she says. At the time we spoke to them, her friends were awaiting Anjana's postmortem report. Her family was on their way to Goa from Kerala.