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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Odisha woman brutally raped and murdered in Kerala, but who cares?

Is the deafening silence of the civil society in Kerala another instance of its attitude towards labourers from other states? 

When the death of 30-year-old Sabitha Maji was reported from the tea garden town of Peerumedu in Idukki on Sunday, there were suspicions that it was a murder. But the police on Wednesday revealed that it was a gruesome rape and murder case in which the sex perverts did not even spare the dead body.

Though the shocking incident is a reminder that women are no longer safe in Kerala, despite all the assurances and after those whirlwind campaigns that followed Jisha murder last year, nobody seems to care about the plight of the hapless woman from Odisha.  Apparently, no one is shocked. No protests, not even press releases deploring the murder!

Maji, a native of Odisha who was a working at a private tea garden in Peerumedu, had 58 cuts in her body, most of them inflicted by a sharp machete. The autopsy report revealed that she was also subjected to brutal rape.

The police had arrested two tea garden workers, one from Odisha and the other a Srilankan Tamil in connection with the murder. Interrogation brought out the real horrors.

The suspects told police that they had nursed a grudge towards Maji and struck her down with a machete while she was collecting woods on Sunday. They repeatedly hit her on head till she fell down, bleeding. Then the men dragged her into the shrubs and preyed on her body. Before hiding the body in a thicket, they stabbed her several times on the chest and abdomen to ensure that she was indeed dead.

The suspects told the police that Maji had protested their sexual advances several times before. And that they were waiting for a chance.

The blood samples collected from the scene of murder matched with that of the suspects. Detailed investigation is on to collect all possible evidences, according to police.

The murder of the Odisha woman brought back the horrors of Jisha murder that created uproar in the state last year. Jisha, a Dalit law student from Perumbavoor, was found brutally raped and murdered in her home in April 2016. Her body bore the 36 injuries. The police arrested an Assamese labourer in the case after 50 days. The murder took place during the day and inside her home had raised many questions over the safety of women in the state.

Is the deafening silence of the civil society in Kerala another instance of its attitude towards labourers from other states who are often termed as ‘bhais’ or ‘migrants.’

Well, these labourers, who are destined to be called migrants in their own country, are always the ‘other’ for us.

(Source: Asianet news)

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