The suicidal death of a 32-year-old woman at Manaloor in Thrissur after the alleged character assassination in public by the ‘Oracle’ (Velichappadu) of her family temple during a ritual has other dimensions of moral police and slandering to it, it is learned from her husband and close relatives.
The oracle of the Karanath Family Temple, Sreekanth Karanath, 25, was arrested by Anthikkad Police and was presented at Judicial Magistrate Court in Thrissur on Tuesday afternoon.
He has been slapped with charges of abetting suicide.
The incident has raised a question regarding the alleged misuse of a temple ritual of prophesying and blessing given by the Oracle and its sanctity.
The husband of the victim has said that earlier there was an incident in which the mobile phone call records of his wife were collected to prove that she was not calling other men as claimed by those who were doing character assassination of her.
It was on February 25, the Oracle Sreekanth, who during the ritual of Oracle giving orders to the devotees pointedly asked the alleged suicide victim Syambavi if she had committed a wrongful act and that she should seek apology before the ‘Devi’ (deity of the temple).
The woman devotee, whose husband was working in Muscat had been facing such slander and ‘moral policing’ comments from the public for the past nine months was so upset over the act of the Oracle and had rung up her husband Jobin to tell him that she could not stand the insult anymore and would end her life.
She committed suicide during the wee hours by hanging inside her house leaving behind her husband and two sons.
‘It’s Divine Power’
The young Oracle told the cops during interrogation that it was the divine power who entered his body during the ritual that made him act in such a manner, Sub Inspector at the station Jinesh K J said.
He also said that a detailed inquiry would be conducted into those persons in the Company Paddi locality in Manalur especially a person named Janamithran, who works as manager in a toddy shop, for spreading demeaning stories about the victim in the locality and in the family circles.
In the complaint lodged on March 1 with Anthikkad Police by Jobin, the husband of the victim, it is said that Janamithran had asked his friend Oracle Sreekanth to insult her in front of nearly 200 family members under the guise of the ritual.
Normally, the Oracles would only prophesy and ask the devotees the need for more devotion to the deities to get their blessing. Nothing about the character or sins or wrongs committed by the devotees is mentioned by the Oracles during the ritual.
Jobin alleged that there was a conspiracy behind the entire episode and the kingpin was Janamithran who also belong to the extended Karanath family.
“There was slander campaigning linking my wife with a youth in the locality named Kiran, who is now working abroad. Janamithran was in the forefront of this malicious campaigning against my wife. This has been happening for the past nine months and during May last year on the day of Thrissur Pooram, Janamithran had called me over the phone in Muscat at midnight questioning the moral side and character of my wife,” Jobin said.
Jobin soon came on an emergency leave to prove the allegations wrong. He said that he spoke to Kiran, who told him that whatever was being said about his wife was wrong and Kiran tendered an apology to him over the issue.
“A few months after that, Kiran’s father insulted my mother in public by again questioning the character of my wife. It was then I and my wife told my close relatives and Kiran’s family members to check her call records to put an end to the matter. The list of call records was collected and it proved that the allegations against my wife were fully wrong,” Jobin said.
Jobin said that he and his wife Syambavi thought that the issue was over but as it was brought out by the Oracle again, it came as a shock to Syambavi who found it unbearable and ended her life.