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Two Arrested For Beheading Transwoman Priest in Tamil Nadu Temple

Police said the transwoman, Rajathi, was performing puja inside a temple on February 14 when the main accused, Maruthu, and his friend, Snovin, allegedly attacked her with a sickle.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:February 20, 2019, 11:58 AM IST
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Two Arrested For Beheading Transwoman Priest in Tamil Nadu Temple
Rajathi was beheaded and her body was chopped into pieces.
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Chennai: Two persons were arrested in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district in connection with the beheading of a 38-year-old transwoman priest inside a temple sanctum.

The two were booked under IPC Section 302 (punishment for murder) and sections of the Goondas Act.

Police said the transwoman, Rajathi, was performing puja inside a temple on February 14 when the main accused, Maruthu, and his friend, Snovin, allegedly attacked her with a sickle.

Rajathi was beheaded and her body was chopped into pieces. The victim’s head was kept outside the temple while the accused kept the mutilated body inside. After the incident, the two accused absconded.

Maruthu surrendered in court on Monday evening and his friend Snovin was arrested a day later.

A source said Marathu, who confessed to his crime during interrogation, said he was in a relationship with Rajathi.

“During their relationship, Rajathi had helped the accused financially by setting up a shop outside the temple for him. She also bought a lorry to transport water. Later, when she came to know that Maruthu was in a relationship with another woman, she stopped helping him financially and barred him from entering the temple and performing his duties there,” the source said.

Locals of Teracepuram village in Thoothukudi district said Rajathi was threatened by the accused and his family for over a year after theie relationship came to an end.

The transgender community in the district have demanded stringent action against the accused.

Police said the duo will be in custody till Friday.
| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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