Blood on hands: Women sacrifice kids, husbands for life with lovers
Published: Oct 23,201807:45 AM by Venkadesan S
A recent spate of cases in Chennai are filled with so much drama that they resemble edgy pulp fiction thrillers than real life incidents. While experts blame the lovers with whom the women hope to find happiness, men’s rights activists call for gender-neutral laws.
Within a month of marriage, a woman plots her ‘happily ever after’ with her lover by killing her husband; the husband dies in the hospital without regaining consciousness. In another instance, a woman poisons two of her children to death and elopes with her lover, while her husband narrowly escapes death. Yet another woman plans her businessman husband’s murder meticulously before sending her lover to hack the man to death. Another woman in the city hires thugs to kill her husband.
These are not scenes straight out of soap operas, but actual cases reported in the city in the last two years. With the number of such incidents — in which women turn murderous against their husbands or children to live the kind of live that they aspired for — on the rise in Chennai, many are not being able to come to terms with the fact that women too can go to such extent.
When the legal system is skewed in favour of women, why do they go to the extent of killing someone to lead a life of their own? Arul Thumilan, an advocate and president of the Association for Protection of Men, Triplicane, said that such women seem to be under the impression that they can take advantage of the ‘weaker sex’ tag and get away with even murder.
"In the latest case at Tiruvanmiyur (refex to box), Kathiresan had little idea that his wife was going to kill him. In the case of Abirami, the children would have least expected their mother to poison them to death. And these are cases that the police have cracked, but there are several similar incidents that are covered up either as natural deaths or suicides," he said.
These women are, to an extent, falsely emboldened by the legal system, Thumilan said. According to him, there are no fora available for men suspecting his wife of infidelity, whereas a woman can approach all-women police station, who would immediately begin an investigation. "When a woman commits suicide within seven years of marriage, a Revenue Divisional Officer inquiry is initiated. But there is no record of such inquiries having been conducted when newly-wed men kill themselves. Police do not allow men’s parents to pursue the case," added Thumilan, whose organisation helps families affected by false dowry cases.
The lover factor
Irrespective of gender, the perception that problems can be solved by taking lives is abnormal, psychiatrist Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar said. "Only a self-absorbed, narcissistic person can do such a thing," she said. These cases, however, have another facet to be considered. According to her, as women are physically weaker and cannot easily overpower a man by themselves, the one who gives them false hope is their lover or some other man in her life.
"The other man usually convinces her that he would take care of everything, which emboldens the woman to go ahead and commit the crime. Also, the lack of knowledge about the world and the legal system gives them the blind faith that they can get away with the crime," Dr said Vijayakumar.
Thumilan, however, does not agree. "Women in general are extremely determined and now some of them have gone to the extent of killing those who oppose their decisions. I have come across cases where women killed their brothers because they confronted them about their illicit relationship," he said.
Thumilan said that the number of women convicted of crimes has grown exponentially in a decade. Keeping that in mind, the legal system should come up with gender-neutral laws and revamp the way how cases are handled when the men are the victims, he added. "Quashing Section 497, which treats women as a property, is fine, but there should be an alternative law making both genders equally accountable," said Thumilan.
Absence of family support system
Advocate Sudha Ramalingam pointed out to how the absence of a support system in the family has created a vacuum where women cannot express their emotions. "Women rarely have access to basic counselling because of the lack of a joint family system. We have become a sort of consumeristic society where we want overnight solutions for all the problems," she said, adding how a majority of parents are still insensitive about their daughters’ wishes when it comes to marriage.
Ramalingam said that though such incidents have always happened, they are exposed in no time these days because of the media. "In a way, it is good because it will set a platform to discuss and address such issues. This should be seen as a psychological and societal problem, because given a choice, these women would not have commited such crimes. Most of these planned murders are a fallout of a deep sense of hurt, which leads to people losing their minds to kill someone they have lived with," she said.
- October 14: Anitha and her boyfriend Antony Jagan attacked her husband Kathiresan in broad daylight after blindfolding him in the guise of playing hide and seek. Anitha, a resident of Thoothukudi, who has been in relationship with Jagan, could not marry him because of parental opposition, as they belong to different castes. After marrying Kathiresan, Anitha plotted to kill her husband and cover it up as a murder, so that she could live with Jagan.
- September 2: Abirami, 25, was arrested for poisoning her two children, aged 6 and 4 years, in Kundrathur to elope with her lover Sundaram. She plotted to kill her husband Vijay after being married to him for eight years for the sake of a two-month-old relationship with Sundaram, whom she met at a biriyani shop where he was employed.
- March 3: In Nesapakkam, a nine-year-old boy was kidnapped and brutally murdered by his mother’s lover, a 27-year-old man, after her husband asked them to end the relationship
- June, 2017: The Guindy police arrested a woman two weeks after her husband Udayabalan, a businessman, was brutally hacked to death in their house. In connivance with cab driver Prabakaran with whom she developed a relationship, Udayalekha hatched a plan and sent him home when her husband was alone. During police interrogation, Udayalekha said that Udayalabalan kept humiliating her because of which they fell out and she decided to murder him.