Residents of Sion-Koliwada seem to have endued much from so-called social activist Shankar Mudaliyar (32), but were unable to approach the police because Mudaliyar was allegedly a police informer.
In his neighbourhood, Mudaliyar was despised as a pervert who forced himself on recently widowed women. The affected women and other residents kept quiet because of his perceived connections with the police.
“He tipped the police off whenever he needed to settle scores with some member of the community,” said Thangaraj Devendran (27), a resident of the slum where Mudaliyar lives.
Devendran has relatives who had incurred the police’s ire after Mudaliyar had tipped them off.
“He has broken several building regulations, and has some properties that are illegal,” Devendran said.
A relative of the victim’s family said he had heard some people say that Mudaliyar had helped them get ration cards and voter identity cards. “But I know my father helped them get ration cards and have photographs to prove it,” said a relative of the bereaved family.
“He has three wives, as far as I know, all widows from the locality,” alleged Ramesh Pillai (25), another resident.
The victim’s sister (name withheld) said Mudaliyar and the other accused had stalked the victim for several months, and she was the only one who knew about it. A cousin of the relative claimed that both the victim and her sister had kept quiet about it out of fear. “My cousin testified before the police against him only when she was about to die,” he added.