COIMBATORE: The 23-year-old youth who was detained by police on the suspicion of murdering a transwoman in Coimbatore confessed that he had killed her for refusing his sexual advances, said police.
The deceased transwoman M Sangeetha alias Bannari (59) was residing at a rental house on NSR Road near Saibaba colony in the city. Recently, she started a restaurant named Covai Trans Kitchen along with a few other transwomen on Venkatasamy Road in RS Puram. She was also the president of the Coimbatore District Transgenders Association.
On Wednesday morning, she was found dead, with her throat slit, at her house. Her body, with many cut injuries, was stuffed inside a water storage container on the premises. It had been covered with salt to hide the foul smell.
Following the incident, city police launched a hunt to trace the murderer by forming three special teams. Police suspected a worker at the restaurant who had gone missing for the last four days.
Meanwhile, the missing person, Rajesh, 23, from Tharangambadi in Nagapattinam district, surrendered at Sanganoor VAO office on Thursday and was then produced at Saibaba Colony police station, where he was arrested in the night, said police.
According to the police report, he confessed to the crime and admitted that he was sexually harassing her and making advances. As she threatened that she would inform the police, he stabbed her to death on Sunday night. Later, he dumped her body in a plastic drum and filled it with salt. Then he took away Rs 20,000 in cash from her belongings and bought a new mobile phone before escaping to his hometown.
Police retrieved the knife and mobile phone from him and sent him to prison under judicial remand on Friday morning.
Covai Trans Kitchen to remain open
Covai Trans Kitchen was inaugurated in early September by ten members of the transgender community under the leadership of Sangeetha. They said it was started to give them financial independence so that they could live a life of dignity. Now, within two months of starting their own business, the kitchen has lost their leader.
"It is a loss to us and the entire transgender community in the district. We are yet to recover from the loss. But we will continue to run the kitchen as it is a mark of identity for us. A decision on when to resume services will be taken by the association as early as possible," said Lakshmi, one of the cooks in the restaurant.