Kerala Woman Lecturer Receives Death Threats, Her Morphed Images Circulated Online

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a stern Facebook post said that those trying to threaten and shut people up are living in fool's paradise.

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Kerala Woman Lecturer Receives Death Threats, Her Morphed Images Circulated Online

Deepa Nishanth's Facebook post was in support of one's right to freedom of expression.

Thrissur, Kerala: 

Highlights

  1. Abuse after her Facebook post supported right to freedom of expression
  2. The police have registered a case for stalking, criminal intimidation
  3. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has promised strict action in this case
A 35-year-old woman lecturer at Sree Kerala Varma College in Thrissur has filed a complaint after she received death threats and her morphed images were circulated on social media by unknown persons.

The police have registered a case for stalking, criminal intimidation and outraging the modesty of a woman. She has also approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Director General of Police Loknath Behera, who have promised strict action in this case.

Mr Vijayan in a stern Facebook post said that those trying to threaten and shut people up are living in fool's paradise. "Death threats and calls for attack on people with progressive ideas and independent opinion on various social issues is not acceptable," he added.

In her complaint, Deepa Nishanth, who teaches Malayalam and has two children, alleged that her morphed pictures were widely shared on social media and she has even received death threats from anonymous callers on phone.

Ms Nishant said, "My face was morphed with nude pictures. I was shocked to see tonnes of abusive comments against me. I have received death threats for no fault of mine."

She said that her family also received those morphed images causing great pain and embarrassment to them.

On July 12, the Students' Federation of India (SFI), the students union of ruling CPI(M), had put up artistic banners in the college to welcome freshers on the campus. One of the banners had the controversial painting by MF Husain depicting goddess Saraswati.

"I didn't organise the event. I had nothing to do with it. But my name got dragged into it, maybe because I have been vocal about certain issues including the beef ban," she said.

She added that her Facebook post supported the banner saying that "every artist has the right to interpret their god in their own way". "After that all hell broke loose. I just couldn't take the kind of obscenity that was being associated with me on social media for no fault of mine," she said.

In another incident, renowned Malayalam author KP Ramanunni approached the police after he received an anonymous letter six days ago threatening him that his right arm and left leg would be chopped off if he did not convert to Islam within six months.

The letter alleged that some of his recent articles in a vernacular daily were "misleading" the "innocent Muslim youth".

He was warned that he would be treated in the same manner as Professor TJ Joseph whose right arm was slashed seven years ago by the members of a radical Muslim outfit for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through a question paper he had set for a class test.

While speaking to NDTV, he said, "I have got several threats in the past from various fundamentalist groups. But this is the first time I am getting a death threat. I am not aware of the motive behind the letter."

He has filed a complaint with the Kozhikode city police commissioner urging him to look into the matter. Investigation is on.

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