38-year-old Trans woman priest attacked, beheaded in Thoothukudi

It isn’t often that we don’t hear incidents of transgenders being harassed in different parts of the country. On the contrary, we can easily trace back to pseudo on-paper concerns for this community via passing of the Transgender Persons Bill, 2016, but the societal comprehension and acceptance is not quite noticeable. 

Recently, in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district, a 38-year-old transgender woman, named Rajathi, was barbarously beheaded. However, the concern as to who is responsible for the committal of such a heinous offence still remains a mystery due to the inactiveness and unresponsiveness of the forces in the concerned area.

Rajathi was a priest at the Mariamman temple in the district of SS Manikapuram, Tamil Nadu. It has been alleged that her murder has been committed while she was committing Pooja in the temple, by Maruthu, the person whom Rajathi was going to marry, but on him deciding to marry someone else, she drifted apart. Allegedly, two friends of Maruthu played the part of accomplice, resulting in beheading and strangulating of Rajathi as the modus operandi of her ghastly demise. 

The land whereupon Maruthu filled the post of a priest, belonged to Maruthu’s family however Rajathi was the one who took care of the land. To worsen the situation, the beheaded head of Rajathi was ferociously kept outside the temple. Lately, a case has been registered against the murderers under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Goondas Act.

What must have left us pondering is at this point is the inconspicuousness of this incident. Why has this incident not gained social outrage and consolation as any other incident of heinous crimes would have? Why have the police and administrative forces been unable to make due efforts against this awful incident?

The 3 touchstones of the Indian legal system are governed by the golden triangle of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution i.e. “Right to Equality, Freedom, and Life and Personal Liberty” respectively. However, it is extremely desolating to see the mere on-paper hollow claims and guarantees given to people because the practical situation speaks for itself. In the real life scenario, the LGBT community is constantly struggling to create their own space in the community and enjoy their fundamental rights as freely as any other person of this country.

It is high time that the call of the LGBT community should be heard by the people. Mere theoretical judgments of the hon’ble Supreme Court would not lead to the effective implementation of ethical treatment of the LGBT community. Rather, it is the realisation by each individual of every other individual’s “Right to decide their gender expression and identity” that would lead to the efficacious execution of the high authorities of this country and would result in a liveable and equal treatment of the LGBT community.  




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Ragini Juneja, our intern. Ragini is a student of law in Amity Law School, Delhi (Affiliated to IP University). She lays immense emphasis on awareness of one’s own rights and entitlements as a precondition for confidence, self-esteem and dignity. Her words strive to help women in unclasping their latent strengths which have been suppressed by male chauvinism.

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