Former Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Friday demanded strong action from the state government against moral policing.
In a statement here in a wake of the suicide of a 24-year-old youth, a victim of moral policing, he said: "The role of police has to be done by them only and none other and it's here that the state government has to step in to stop this undesirable practice."
The youth Aneesh, hailing from Palakkad, was found hanging on a tree near his house on Thursday after he was assaulted by a group of youth on Valentine's Day, February 14.
Read: Death by moral police: Kerala man harassed on camera on V Day hangs self
Aneesh was sitting together with his friend when she, wanting to relieve herself, moved to a secluded place. Here a group of youth behaved indecently with her and hearing her cry, Aneesh rushed to her but assaulted by these youth, who also clicked photos and posted it on the social media.
This incident left Aneesh deeply upset and he was since then keeping to himself. He finally decided to take the ultimate step, leaving a note saying that he was deeply disturbed.
Police have taken into custody five people and have charged for abetting suicide.
Also read: Aneesh told me to be brave, didn't think he'd kill himself: Moral policing victim tells TNM
Noted neurosurgeon Fazal Gafoor, who is also the chairman of the MES group of institutions, said it is time that the attitude of many Keralites changes.
"The psyche of Keralites have to change if things are to be prevented from going from bad to worse. Moral policing has crossed all limits and this is totally different from harassment of women," he said.
Legal professional V.Maya said in this particular case of Aneesh, those arrested have been charged under sections of abetting suicide but this was not enough.
"This is not the section that should be used. The need of the hour is new laws to tackle these crimes. Even police on most occasions wrongly interpret laws, especially when it comes to issues like this," he said.
Another legal professional B.Gopalakrishnan said moral policing and morality have to be seen differently and when this is seen in the right perspective, then things will be right.
Achuthanandan also pointed out that police at times also engage in moral policing which puts young couples in difficulties and this also has to be stopped for which the state government has to step in.