TN minister's daughter appeals to CM Stalin to probe threats by her father

Sekar Babu, who is the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department Minister, has reportedly been opposing his daughter’s relationship over the groom's financial status.
TN minister's daughter appeals to CM Stalin to probe threats by her father
TN minister's daughter appeals to CM Stalin to probe threats by her father
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For the last four days, Jayakalyani, the daughter of Tamil Nadu minister PK Sekar Babu, has been camping in Bengaluru with her husband, Sathish Kumar. They got married at a mutt in north Karnataka just a couple of days ago in the presence of a few activists and lawyers. Even as they continue to reach out to Bengaluru police, seeking protection from the DMK minister and his family, they have been constantly changing locations, with the fear that her father’s associates might reach them. 

According to the couple, Sekar Babu, who is the Minister of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of Tamil Nadu, has been opposing the relationship because of the difference in their social and financial status. Jayakalyani belongs to the Naidu community and Sathish belongs to the Vanniyar community. Jayakalyani says however that caste is not the issue in their case; Sekar Babu’s grouse against Sathish is over his financial standing, alleges Jayakalyani.   

“We started talking to each other in 2015, after a mutual friend introduced us,” Jayakalyani, tells TNM. “We lived in the same area. In the second year of our relationship, our parents got to know and they threatened us. Sathish also was in DMK and was with the youth wing of the party,” she says. But he was relieved of his responsibilities in the party and removed from the party at Sekar Babu’s behest, the newlyweds allege. 

They have eloped once before too, only to be located by Sekhar Babu’s associates. “We left our house and went to Pune in August 2021,” Jayakalyani says. During that time, she says her father’s henchmen reportedly roughed up Sathish’s friends and assaulted members of his family. “They then caught us and brought us back to Chennai against our wishes. They took him in a separate car and kept him in a place in Thiruvallur for two months in illegal custody. Sathish’s family and friends including his sister, her family, along with her two young children were kept in the police station for three days,” she alleges. 

Sathish Kumar has several cases booked against him and the couple allege that most of them are cases foisted on him by her father and his friends. Sources close to her family claim cases against him are the reason they oppose the relationship. Sathish faces charges of IPC Sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 294(b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 323(Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt amongst others). 

Jayakalyani says that there was just one police case Sathish faced before their relationship. “In 2014, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, there was a case filed against him for tearing a AIADMK banner. But after 2015, there were cases foisted on him at my father’s behest. A false robbery case was also filed against him. He was not at that location but still he was made the first accused in the case. The Inspector probing the case had said that they saw the CCTV footage and he was not seen in it. But the police were apparently under pressure,” she alleges. 

Among the charges that Sathish faces, the most serious one is of rape. The case reportedly was filed by a former girlfriend of Sathish after their separation but Jayakalyani accuses her father and his associates of implicating him in the case too. “Before he met me, he was in a relationship with another girl and they separated after a fight. They made her file a fake case of cheating against him and that was later converted into a rape case. In 2019, she wanted to withdraw the case but she was threatened not to,” she says. 

TNM has not been able to access the FIR copy pertaining to this case or independently verify the claims by speaking to the complainant. 

The Minister's confidante who TNM spoke to meanwhile maintained that Satish was a history sheeter and therefore the family was opposed to the relationship.

While in Bengaluru, the couple says they have been spending sleepless nights; they are worried about the safety of Sathish’s family who have reportedly gone incommunicado. “I last spoke to my family on March 4 and since then their phones have been switched off. We don’t know what their condition is. We fear they have been threatened,” Sathish says. Jayakalyani adds, “We asked our friends to contact them but they too have not been able to do so."

TNM visited Sathish’s family’s residence in Chennai and found the house locked. A neighbour says that they last saw Sathish’s mother, sister and brother-in-law on March 4. “The police and party men have been visiting the house since the day Jayakalyani went missing. But the visits stopped after videos of her getting married to Satish surfaced on social media and TV channels,” the neighbour says. “We never saw the family being taken away by someone. The family seems to have left on their own,” they add. 

Appealing to the Bengaluru police commissioner to provide them a safe haven in the city, Sathish says, “We just want the Bengaluru Police Commissioner to give us protection. We came here because we will not be safe in Tamil Nadu."

Making an appeal to the Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin, Jayakalyani says that they are speaking to the media not to defame the Tamil Nadu government or the state. “We just want them to know the reality of what has happened to us.  We urge the CM to order an investigation into this and if he gives us an appointment, we will explain everything to him,” she adds. 

With inputs from Shabbir Ahmed. 

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