Three days post the horrific incident when a trans woman priest in Thoothukudi temple was attacked and decapitated, police have arrested both the accused. Speaking to TNM, Thoothukudi police confirm that main accused Maruthu, a 24-year-old, who had taken a sickle and allegedly murdered the victim inside the temple sanctum, had surrendered before the local Vilathukulam court on Monday. Maruthu’s aide Snowlin, who is second accused, was nabbed by the police on Tuesday.
According to reports, the deceased, Rajathi, was a 38-year-old priest at a Mariamman temple in SS Manikapuram. She was performing pooja on Friday when the main accused Maruthu and his aide had visited the sanctum of the temple and allegedly murdered her. He had also allegedly placed her decapitated head in front of the temple. Sources say that Maruthu and Rajathi were previously in a relationship and had been having altercations after a fall out between them.
The land where the temple is located belongs to Maruthu’s grandmother and he had been appointed as Secretary of the temple earlier. However, he had lost the post this year. Police also say that Rajathi had also sold off two of the three water lorries - which was jointly owned by the both of them, without consulting Maruthu.
“On interrogation Maruthu said that he had a few motives. The first was that he was removed from the Secretary post in the temple. The second issue he said was the water lorries incident when Rajathi sold the vehicles without asking him. There were several altercations between the duo and Rajathi was being threatened by Maruthu for the past one year. Rajathi warned him that she would cut his head off and place it before the temple if he troubled her. Affronted by this threat issued by a trans woman, Maruthu decided to attack her, he says,” Thoothukudi Deputy Superintendent of Police Prakash told TNM.
“We have registered a case under sections 302 of the Indian Penal Code (murder) and slapped sections under the Goondas Act on the two,” the DSP added.