A gruesome murder ~ extremely harsh and hard to digest – but not too many voices of protest…… very sad to read about this…. Brahmins, Hindus, Believers have long been subjected to lot of ridicule and targeted on the roads and other public places… sad plight indeed.
Here is what appeared in the Hindu….
Distraught but defiant, 25-year-old daughter of priest, who was brutally murdered last week in Kancheepuram, continues fight for justice; four accused have surrendered, one absconding
A week after her father was beaten to death and she, brutally dragged along the road opposite her sister’s home, abused and assaulted, Padmasree Raman from Tirupati, is distraught but not willing to give up on seeking justice. “I came here to perform the annual rites for my mother but ended up cremating my father,” said the 25-year-old M.Com graduate, who works as an auditor in Tirupati.
Sitting on the verandah of her sister Jayashree’s home in Sannidhi Street Agraharam in Venkatapuram surrounded by her relatives, she recalled the horrific murder of her father, V.T. Raman, a 63-year-old priest in one of the Tirumala temples. Mr. Raman had come to the house of his older daughter Jayashree two weeks ago, along with his younger daughter, Padmasree, for a ritual for his late wife, Amrithavalli, who was also from the agraharam. Jayashree’s husband and other members of the family run a catering business here.
Abused, attacked : On March 31, a day before they were supposed to return to Tirupati, Padmasree and her father decided to take six-year-old, Akshaya, Jayashree’s daughter, to the shop on the main road to buy her a chocolate. As they were walking down the road, one of three men who were walking towards them, tried to frighten the child with a loud shout.
“Akshaya clung to me in fear. When they did it again, I asked them why they were trying to scare the child,” said Padmasree. “They then began abusing me, calling me all sorts of humiliating names. When I asked them to stop, one of them rushed towards me and struck me on the head with a steel rod. I also remember him dragging me by my hair as I fell down. I started bleeding profusely and my clothes were torn and soiled with blood,” she added.
The drunken gang did not stop with that. When a horrified Raman, who was hard of hearing, frantically tried to save his daughter, one of them struck him on his head. “The injury was so grave that his brain was damaged. He survived for barely twenty-four hours after the attack,” Padmasree said. Padmasree had to have eight stitches on her head. The three men escaped on two motorcycles immediately after the incident.
One of the family’s relatives helped the police identify the main offender, Muniraj, as he had spotted him trying to escape. While four of those involved, including the two men on the bikes, surrendered in Tambaram and Tindivanam courts last week, the police managed to nab Muniraj. One of the offenders, Vinod, is absconding.
“We are looking for him and he will be nabbed soon,” said a senior police office at the Palur police station.
‘Always helpful’: “My father was a very soft-spoken man. Even after he retired from the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, he insisted on taking up an honorary post as a priest. He always wanted to help people. And he certainly did not deserve this brutal death,” Padmasree said. “People here have been telling me they will help me with money and support me. But I want the murderers to be brought to book. I also want my relatives to be safe here after I leave for Tiupati,” she said. “We are not strangers to this place. We used to come here every year as all my mother’s relatives live here,” she added.
Her grandmother said, “Our ancestors have been living here for more than ninety years. We are just seven families now in the agraharam but there were over 30 families earlier. There has never been such a problem, as most of us, especially women don’t venture out alone. We have complained many times that drunkards leave broken bottles and ganja packets here, but no action has been taken.”
Akshaya, her parents said, is yet to recover from the shock. It was Akshaya who ran back home and told her relatives what had happened on that day. Only then, were the victims rushed to the government hospital in Chengalpattu. “She came running to me, crying that ‘they hit thaatha and chithi,” her mother Jayashree recalled. “Her exams were going on when this incident occurred. Even now, she is so terrified that she wants to keep the doors locked all the time. She does not want any of us to leave the house and keeps insisting that everyone shifts to ‘paati’s home’,” Jayashree added.
Below is the other report : A flurry of activity accompanies a reference to the ‘pujari’ case at the Palur police station, almost 50 km from Chennai. Files are brought in and details swiftly read out. Meanwhile, a senior police officer tries to de-mystify the crime.
“The essence of it is, you don’t bark at dogs. The woman should have just ignored the behaviour of the drunken men. She argued with them when they tried to scare her niece and abused her. Had she calmly walked past, her father would have been alive today,” he said. He is talking about Padmasree, daughter of V.T. Raman, who was murdered by a drunken gang.
“Can’t I even question somebody who is trying to trouble my niece? Couldn’t they have just pushed off? Why did they have to kill my father?” asked a tearful Padmasree.
“We have booked them in several cases — including an attempt to murder and for harassment of women. It was an unfortunate event,” said another officer. “The woman, Padmasree, was fair and pretty, an M.Com graduate who seemed sensible. But she did not use her common sense. She was new to this place. What was the need to argue with the men?” he asked. When asked about other harassment or abuse complaints, he said very few were reported.
Almost 25 villages come under the jurisdiction of the Palur police station of which 13 are certified as mother villages because of their size. Since the villages are quite far from the police station, most disputes are sorted out with the village head. “The problem of history-sheeters here has increased over the last few years. Some of them go about with steel rods, in groups and everyone is scared of them,” said Thilakan, another resident of Venkatapuram.
Houses and residential colonies are interspersed with acres of paddy fields. “One has to walk for at least 3 km to reach the main road. It is very risky for women. Hardly any women walk alone on the streets. Only the women who own liquor shops work here after six,” said Saroja, another resident who works at a bank in Chengalpattu. “Illegal country liquor is quite a problem here. People often get drunk and create a ruckus. Since there are no patrols by policemen, they never get caught,” she added. The Palur police said they had managed to nab several history-sheeters in the last few days. T. Natarajan, a sub-inspector, said special teams have been formed to curb the menace.
Many residents were eager to support the bereaved family. “We feel very sympathetic towards the family. We will make sure we collect enough money to help them. I feel sorry for the young woman, as she is just 25, unmarried and has lost her father,” said R. Kumaranayagan, a shop owner in the locality. Raman’s family says violence is endemic to the area. “They could have even just shoved him and left it at that. They need not have killed him,” a relative said. The only person to remain defiant is Padmasree. “Everyone is talking to me about financial support and my marriage but not about punishing the wrong-doers. I want them to be punished for what they did to my father,” she said.