A 23-year-old man, who along with his female friend was attacked, filmed and even targeted on social media by moral vigilantes on Valentine's Day, was found hanging outside his residence in the Palakkad district of Kerala on Thursday. The police found a suicide note, which stated that the harassment he faced on February 14 was the reason behind the step, was also found at the spot.
According to the police, five men accosted and filmed the man and his female friend near a beach in Kollam on Valentine's Day and also asked the woman humiliating and vulgar questions, following which they shared the video on social media. The couple had gone to a bushy area so that the woman could relieve herself since there are no public washrooms on the beach.
When the men allegedly tried to assault the woman, the man stepped in to defend her but he was attacked by the gang, who then filmed and threatened them. The couple lodged a complaint with the police, following which the accused were arrested. The police said that the man's friends have claimed he stayed aloof and upset following the incident, NDTV reported.
The death comes after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had taken a strong note of the incident and said that "such criminal activities will not be tolerated in Kerala." He had also asked the Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behara to take strict action against incidents of moral policing.
But a couple of police constables still tried to moral police a couple at a park in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday and accused them of indecency following which the couple live-streamed their exchange with the constables on Facebook. The couple — Vishnu and Aarthy — were harassed, questioned and fined a week after Valentine's Day.
However, the Kerala Police Chief Behara later issued an apology to the couple over the incident saying that he wished it "had not happened." He added that "the law of the land is very clear. No one has the right to disturb or harass any couple anywhere more so in public places. In our country we impose self-restrain on Public Display of Affection (PDA) due to our culture and tradition, though there is no legal ban for PDA."