THOOTHUKUDI:Love, murder, mystery and now anti-climax. Four years after a woman who was presumed murdered dramatically resurfaced to give a clean chit to her ‘suspected killers’, she was subjected to a DNA test after police refused to accept her identity.
According to sources, Manimekalai went missing in 2002 within a month of her marriage to one Anandhan, her boyfriend, at Perur. Even as Anandhan filed a complaint over his wife’s disappearance at Srivaikundam in April, 2002, the charred body of a woman was found at Vallakulam and it was suspected to be the body of Manimekalai.
A superimposing test based on the skull images of Manimekalai was performed and police claimed it to be the missing woman.
In 2004, police arrested four youth, Balasubramanian, Kurunthan, Dasan and Kovilpillai and implicated them in the case.
They were remanded in jail for 90 days. But in 2007, they were acquitted as the judge was not convinced about the arguments of the prosecution and the evidence placed before him.
In 2011, Manimekalai re-appeared and submitted a petition to the district collector stating that she was not murdered and that her four relatives were falsely implicated.
Subsequently, the four victims moved the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court demanding action against the errant policemen and compensation for the undue hardship suffered by them. When the case came up for hearing on July 6,
police insisted that the woman, who returned, was not Manimekalai. However, the woman appeared before the bench and contended that Murappanadu police had booked a false case in 2002. Justice S Nagamuthu ordered a DNA test on Manimekalai and her father Muthu. In pursuance of the order, biological samples were collected from Manimekalai on Monday in Madurai and from her father on Tuesday in Thoothukudi.
Authorities have been ordered to submit the findings of the DNA test on July 15 following which the court would take a view on the matter.
The botched murder case has shattered the dreams of four Dalit youth after being put in jail for three years. One among them was Balasubramanian, a post-graduate in chemistry, who aimed at becoming a police officer.
Balasubramanian, now aged 42, told Express about the humiliation suffered by his family on account of the case. Son of a Railway Police personnel, Balasubramanian aspired to become a police officer. He was implicated in the murder case when he was preparing for the TNPSC Group-I exam, he said.
His dejected father fell ill and died while his wife filed for divorce. Even the relatives and villagers started behaving in an indifferent manner and he was subjected to humiliation several times in full public view. After his acquittal in 2007, he started working as a chemist at a power plant in Thoothukudi. .
Kurunthan claimed that he fell into severe debt trap and no woman was ready to marry him. Post-acquittal he got married to a close relative but still is being seen as a prisoner in his own village, where he is engaged in farming.
Dasan and Kovilpillai too are suffering due to the reported police excesses.