A man attacked and harassed on Valentine’s Day for trying to defend a female friend was found hanging outside his home in Kerala’s Palakkad district on Thursday. Police officers say the man, who was in his twenties, had written a suicide note in which said the Valentine’s Day harassment was the reason he was hanging himself, NDTV reported.
The man and his friend were approached by five men on February 14 at a beach in Kollam. The men harassed the woman by reportedly filming her, asking her obscene and humiliating questions and then circulating the video on social media. The woman’s friend was assaulted after he tried to stop the men from filming her.
All five accused were arrested after the couple filed a complaint against them at a local police station. State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had taken note of the incident and had asked state police chief Loknath Behara to take strict action against moral policing incidents. “Such criminal activities will not be tolerated in Kerala,” Vijayan had said.
The issue of moral policing in the state has come under scrutiny in recent days. On February 21, a couple sitting in a garden were allegedly accosted by two police officers, who, on realising they were unmarried, told them that their behaviour was vulgar. The couple recorded their interaction with the police officials on Facebook Live. They asked the police officers what was vulgar about their actions. While the couple said no answer was given, one of the officers can be heard saying in the video: “We’ll inform your parents and see what needs to be done, whether to marry you off or not. Otherwise, all this is not permitted here.”