Stalkers a rising threat to women, take cops off guard

Stalkers a rising threat to women, take cops off guard

A third-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student, M. Sathyapriya (20) was waiting for a train at Mambalam railway station here on...

A third-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student, M. Sathyapriya (20) was waiting for a train at Mambalam railway station here on October 14, 2022, when a person, Satheesh who was living in the same colony as her, approached her.

Satheesh asked Sathyapriya whether she would marry him and when she said no, he pushed her before a moving train killing her instantly.

Satheesh ran out of the station immediately after the heinous deed only to be traced and arrested the next morning. Satheesh’s father was a retired police sub-inspector and the family was living in the police quarters near Sathyapriya’s family.

Sathyapriya’s father and mother were both in the police and the two families knew each other well.

Satheesh was an 8th standard dropout while Sathyapriya was good at studies and was doing a three year BBA course at the Jain College in St.Thomas Mount. Immediately after coming to know about Sathyapriya’s death, her father Manickam, who was a policeman himself, committed suicide by consuming poison.

Sathyapriya’s friends said that Satheesh had been following her fot the past one year and had once made her publicly say that she loved him. A few months before the tragic incident, Sathyapriya had filed a complaint against Satheesh but with both the families knowing each other well, an FIR was not registered and he was let off.

The family of Sathyapriya arranged her marriage but fate did not allow that to take place.

Rajesh (name changed), a classmate of Sathyapriya, told that he used to drop her to the railway station from college. Satheesh was seen following her and there were instances of the classmates intervening.

However some local people said that there was a relationship between Satheesh and Sathyapriya but she had walked out of it and was getting engaged to another person which enraged Satheesh, leading to the heinous crime.

A friend of Sathyapriya who did not want to be named, told that “If someone is saying no, then a person should leave them alone. But Satheesh thought that if he can’t have her, then no one else can. Was she born for him?”

In most cases of crimes of passion, one-sided love and stalking are said to be the reasons. If the woman says no, then it angers the boy who thinks that if she rejects him then no one else should have her. Dr RM Thangaraj, a psychologist with an Erode hospital, told, “The attitude of if I can’t get, then no one else should get, is a sort of a mental ailment and people with such attitudes are committing such crimes. It’s a psychological disorder but the culprit should not be allowed to get away with such excuses.”

“There has to be a proper mental awareness among our teenaged boys and girls on the issues they will have to face in life and how a solution could be found. They should also understand that killing is not a solution at all.”

In another gruesome incident, S. Swathi (24) an engineer with Infosys, was hacked to death by a person at the Nungambakkam railway station at around 6.40 a.m. on 24 June, 2016. She was dropped at the railway station by her father, Santhana Gopalakrishnan, a retired staffer of the Employee State Insurance Corporation at around 6.30 a.m.

This was her daily routine and the assailant was waiting with a sickle hidden in his bag at the station. On seeing Swathi he had an argument with her and then hit her with the sickle leading to her instant death. The assailant escaped from the scene but the police on scanning the CCTV visuals identified the assailant.

Ramkumar was a mechanical engineering graduate from Meenakshipuram in Tirunelveli district and had a relationship with Swathi through her Facebook and had exchanged phone numbers with her. Later, they fell out with each other and finally Swathi blocked him. This infuriated Ramkumar, who waited for Swathi on the fateful day and hacked her to death at the railway station.

The assailant was arrested and remanded to judicial custody. On September 18, 2016 he committed suicide in Puzhal central prison in Chennai. The police said that he died after biting into a live electric wire in the prison.

A movie, ‘Swathi Kolai Vazhakku’ directed by Ramesh Selvan was stalled due to legal hurdles but later the name of the movie was changed to ‘Nungambakkam’ and it was screened.

C Rajeev of the Centre for Policy and Development Studies, a think tank based out of Chennai, while speaking said, “Such incidents will be repeated if the family does not give a proper hearing to the young children. There have to be moral science classes in schools to prevent children from veering towards such heinous crimes. Boys should be made to understand that they have to respect the feelings of others and if someone says, No’, that should be accepted.”

With such incidents on the rise, the state government is now planning a major awareness programme among the youths against such crimes.

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