TDoR 2019 / 2019 / February / 15 / Rajathi


Age 38
15 Feb 2019
Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu (India)

Rajathi [photo:]

Rajathi was a priest. Her mutilated body was found inside the sanctum of the Mariamman temple which she had been running. She had been beheaded and her head left outside the temple premises by 2 men who lived in the vicinity.

The assailants are on the run.

The main accused is identified as 23-year-old Maruthu, who owns the land on which Rajathi's temple is built. According to the police, Maruthu, along with his aide, is said to have visited the temple with a sickle when Rajathi was performing a pooja inside the sanctum on Friday morning

Maruthu and his aide then attacked her, chopped her body and placed her head outside the temple, Grace Banu, the founder of Trans Rights Now Collective and a native of Thoothukudi, told TNM. According to sources from the trans community, the accused had been harassing Rajathi for the past year.

“We heard that he used to threaten her and shout at her as the land belonged to his grandmother. She had been getting calls from him for the past one year,” Grace says.

"Maruthi and his brothers own the land where this temple is located. After the falling out, it was just Rajathi who was taking care of the temple affairs. A few days ago, Maruthu learnt that she had entered into a relationship with another man. It was following this that the bloodshed took place. Besides this, the 5 brothers also used to harass Rajathi and the trans women who came to the temple to pray. When she took over the temple, we feel they feared that the temple would fall into the hands of the trans community," the source from the community, who did not want to be named, told TNM.

Report added: 18 Feb 2019. Last updated: 16 Jul 2019

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