Seven murders in seven different days during this month have come as a shock to the residents. Madurai, which is popular and better known as a ‘temple city,’ has suddenly turned into a crime city as the crime graph looks upwards.

Two murders on a single day (June 9) – both in thickly populated areas under Vilakuthoon and K. Pudur police stations – has come in for criticism.

Even as police investigation was underway, yet another cold blooded murder in the night in Jaihindpuram on June 15 of a 21-year-old man for “petty” reasons caused a dent in the morale of the law and order machinery.

If the grave crimes reported in the city were described as bad, it looked worse and shocking in suburban Madurai.

On June 4, a woman in Keelavalavu had pleaded with the police to trace her missing husband Ayyappan (48). Despite the woman seeking police intervention, there was no swift response.

There was shock waiting for the men in khaki.

On June 9, when a man walked into the Judicial Magistrate’s court to confess that he had murdered the missing man Ayyappan, the police went in search of the body, which was hidden in a stone quarry near Melur, about 30 km from here.

Initiating stern action, the top brass suspended the station house officer for his lackadaisical attitude. But, it did not stop there. It appeared as if the grave crimes were waiting to happen.

Usilampatti, Karuppayoorani and Tirumangalam police stations registered cases under IPC Section 302 (murder) in their respective jurisdiction. While jewels were missing in a scene of crime in Tirumangalam, police investigation suggested that the killers used ‘aruval’ or knives or wooden logs to commit the murders.

Though the motives attributed to the crime were “petty” or “previous enmity” or “liquor brawl,” the murder of a 21-year-old man by a mob in Jaihindpuram was simply “disturbing.”

The victim had pasted posters in the locality to mourn the loss of his friend. When he was pasting a poster on the wall of a kalyana mandapam, the organisers of a function objected to it. A wordy altercation ended in the youth’s death.

Society to blame

The murders simply reflected degradation of values, said TOPKIDS youth/child guidance and counselling centre chairman Dheep.

“Every individual in the society is to be blamed. There is a paradigm shift. Instead of respecting human values, people are identified as ‘rich’ or ‘poor.’ The concept of ‘live with principles’ seems to have taken the back seat. Other factors responsible for these disturbing trends are access to liquor and lack of social support. It is time we respect laws and fear of punishment should act as a deterrent.”

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