TN woman’s parents arrested for killing and cremating her to destroy evidence
More than a week after Aishwarya, a 19-year-old woman, was brutally murdered by her own parents for her relationship with a Dalit man, Thanjavur district police have finally made arrests. Aishwarya belonged to the Kallar community (OBC), a part of the politically powerful Thevar caste-cluster. Her parents, Perumal and Roja, were arrested on January 10 and have been remanded to Trichy Central Jail. The horrific killing took place on January 3. An FIR based on the complaint of her partner, Naveen, was registered on January 7.
Aishwarya had gotten married to Naveen, (a marriage that would be deemed void as he too was 19-years-old) and was taken back home by her parents. She had reportedly been previously working in a loom in Palladam and Naveen was working in a garment factory in Tirupur. According to a report in the BBC, Aishwarya’s father first tried to hang her from a tamarind tree using a rope and chair that her mother Roja brought out from the house. After a relative reportedly cut her down, Perumal strangled his daughter to death. Aishwarya was hurriedly cremated and Naveen was notified of her death. Aishwarya and Naveen had married each other and moved to Veerapandi village.
Before the murder, Aishwarya’s parents registered a missing person’s complaint with the Palladam police station in Tirupur. According to Naveen's complaint, Aishwarya was first made to go to the Palladam police station from where she was taken away by her family to Neyvaviduthi in Pattukottai where she hails from. In the complaint, Naveen also says that Aishwarya and her family spent half an hour in the police station before leaving for Neyvaviduthi.
While her marriage to Naveen is void, there is no clarity on why the police allowed Aishwarya to be taken back to Neyvaviduthi as the couple are adults and can choose where they wish to live. Attempts to reach various police personnel for further information regarding this concern have been futile. Additionally, Thanjavur Superintendent of Police (SP) Ashish Rawant declined to comment and has not replied to any of TNM’s queries. If and when the SP responds, this article will be updated to include his comments.