The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court allowed the parents of a 17-year-old girl who died by suicide earlier this week to take her body and carry out her last rites, ANI reported on Saturday.
The court also directed them to appear before the Thanjavur judicial magistrate to record their statements by Monday.
The girl reportedly drank poison on January 9, and died 10 days later. Her father has alleged that she was tortured as she refused to convert to Christianity.
The girl’s family had refused to accept her body on Friday after a post-mortem was conducted, The Times of India reported. They had sought action against a nun who allegedly sought to convert her religion.
On Friday, the parents also alleged before the High Court that the police were harassing them, The New Indian Express reported. The court told the police to “conduct themselves appropriately” in the investigation of the case.
The High Court will hear the case again on Monday.
The girl’s father has demanded that the case be transferred to the Crime Branch of Tamil Nadu Criminal Investigation Department or any other independent investigation agency. He has also sought a direction to complete the investigation in a fixed period of time.
An unverified video being shared on social media shows the girl saying that she was abused by her hostel warden, and that she may have been harassed as her family refused to convert to Christianity. The girl also reportedly claimed that she was forced to clean the hostel and carry out administrative work.
The police have arrested the warden and booked her under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice Act.
However, Thanjavur Superintendent of Police Ravali Priya Gandhapuneni said earlier this week that there was no mention of attempted religious conversion in the initial complaint and the girl’s dying declaration. She added that the video recording was given to the police on January 20, a day after the girl died.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party staged a protest criticising the police action in the case, PTI reported. State BJP chief K Annamalai called for an impartial investigation into the matter.
He added that a fact-finding panel comprising members of the BJP’s women’s wing has begun an independent inquiry.