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Two Trans Women Killed — Murderers Brought to Justice by Community

CRIME

The community had confronted the alleged murderer and accomplices over the disappearance of two trans women and their friend who had sought help in adopting a child.

Police in India have recovered the bodies of two trans women and a third person after members of the local trans community captured and turned over their suspected murderers to authorities. Police in the city of Tirunelveli recovered the bodies from separate wells in the nearby town of Palayamkottia on Friday, according to TheHindu. The three victims and suspects, identified only by single names, were part of a thriving trans community in the area.

According to reports, trans women Anushka and Bhavani had sought help from Rishikesh with the adoption of a child. Pink Newsreported the pair paid Rishikesh, who lived with a trans woman, 500 thousand rupees ($6,740) but he never came through with the promised help and began avoiding the two. Murugan, a person who is said to have lived with Anushka and Bhavani, became involved in the dispute.

Police believe that Rishikesh killed Anushka first when she demanded her money back.

"With the help of [two] friends, Rishikesh dumped her body in a well near Palayamkottai," police were quoted in New India Express, claiming he killed Bhavani and Murugan later after the latter allegedly insulted a trans friend of Rishikesh. "He put their bodies in sacks and dumped them in a nearby well. The murders occurred a few weeks ago."

Members of the community became concerned for Murugan, Bhavani, and Anushka when they disappeared. Several women confronted Rishikesh and his alleged accomplices Chelladurai and Snowvin, eventually using physical force. They claimed the three suspects murdered their friends and photographed their bodies with their phones. The three suspects, along with two other women, were then taken forcibly to the police. It was at this point that the suspects confessed to strangling the missing persons, placing their bodies into bags, and dumping them into two separate wells.

While police have arrested Rishikesh, Chelladurai, and Snowvin for the murders, The Hindu is reporting they also suspect Rishikesh and Murugan were the leaders of two gangs involved in the sex trafficking of trans women, and that the murders may be connected to a dispute between the two over human trafficking. No evidence was provided to support this claim.

RELATED | India's Trans Bill Is Being Heavily Critiqued by the Trans Community

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