Fisherwoman gang-raped, killed & face burnt in TN village; locals attack immigrant workers

Enraged villagers attack Odiya men working in shrimp farm nearby, accusing them them of the crime

Kerala human sacrifice, Elanthoor double murders, Kerala, SIT, woman's body cut into 52 pieces
A doctor said the woman was killed by strangling. Representative image

A 45-year-old fisherwoman from a village in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu was gang raped, strangulated to death and her face burnt, triggering a massive uproar by residents.

Enraged villagers attacked some Odisha men working in a shrimp farm nearby, holding them responsible for the crime. Police intervened and pacified them. They are in the process of questioning the Odisha men but have hit a language hurdle since the men don’t speak Tamil or Hindi.

The victim, a resident of Vadakadu village in Rameswaram, had gone to collect seaweed on Tuesday morning but did not return home. Her daughter said her lunch box was found unopened on the shore.

“It looks like she was kidnapped by the men even before she entered the sea in the morning,” the daughter told The Federal.


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On Tuesday night, the victim’s husband and villagers found her body in a bush near the shrimp farm. Around 500 villagers gathered and vandalised the shrimp farm, and thrashed six Odisha men working there.

Police rushed to the spot and recovered the woman’s body and sent it for autopsy. They rescued the farm workers and admitted them to Madurai government hospital for treatment.

Accusing the men working in the shrimp farm of killing her, the woman’s husband said: “She has been telling me that three men in the shrimp farm were teasing her. She pelted stones on them a couple of days ago. Since these workers don’t understand Tamil, we couldn’t talk to them directly then. We tried contacting the owner of the farm. However, he was also not reachable then.”

Of the six men, three of them were discharged on Thursday (May 26) and were taken to the Mandapam police station in Rameshwaram for inquiry, while the other three are getting treated for their injuries at Madurai GH.

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A doctor at Ramanathapuram Government Hospital confirmed that the woman was gang raped.

Autopsy report

“In the preliminary observation, we do not know how many people raped her. But it could be observed that more than one person was involved. We will know the further details only after the complete autopsy report,” the doctor said on condition of anonymity.

The doctor said the woman was killed by strangling. “Later, they burnt her face,” the doctor said, adding that the time of the incident will be known only in the detailed autopsy report.

A senior police officer in Ramanathapuram district said that language barrier was hurting the investigation process.

“Of the six men, only a few can understand Tamil or Hindi,” he said, adding that there was pressure on them from the angry villagers; they had to be convinced that proper action would be taken.

Investigation also revealed that the perpetrators had stolen the woman’s jewels and could have possibly pawned them for money. Investigation is on and police say they would narrow down on the culprits by Friday (May 27).