TIRUNELVELI: Little did 85-year-old Arputhasamy foresee that his part-time job as an astrologer would one day lead to his death. The octogenarian priest paid with his life when a flower seller, angry over a series of erroneous predictions, smashed his head with a grinding stone, at Vikramasingapuram, near here on Saturday.
Sources said that Arputhasami had built an Ayya temple on Kanthipuram Street at Vikramasingapuram and had been serving as the priest there. Whenever he used to get time, he used to don the role of an astrologer and predict for the local residents.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the residents found him lying in a pool of blood with a grinding stone beside the body. They immediately alerted the police, who rushed to the spot and sent the body to the Ambasamudram GH for an autopsy.
After preliminary investigations, police zeroed-in on Mariappan (38), the flower seller, who used to frequent him. He had been seen coming out of the house on the day of the incident as well. Based on the inputs, Mariappan was taken into custody.
During interrogation, Mariappan told the police that he murdered Arputhasami as none of his predictions had brought him good fortune. Sources said that Mariappan had conducted several marriages in his family based on the advice given by Arputhasami. However, none of the marriages really clicked and were marred by domestic disputes.
On Saturday, Mariappan visited Arputhasami and picked up a quarrel over the issue. In a fit of rage, Mariappan allegedly picked up a grinding stone and smashed the octogenarian’s head, killing him on the spot.
Mariappan’s streak of violence did not end with the murder, as he allegedly attacked his nephew Chiranchivi (17) for going out of the house to seek advice from Arputhasami. The teenager sustained grievous injuries in the assault and was admitted to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital.
The police registered a case against Mariappan and arrested him. Further investigations were on.