Indian woman found dead in S Africa temple
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Indian woman found dead in S Africa temple

Cops are looking for the head priest of a Hindu temple after the shocking murder of Premla Pillay.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 12:08 IST

Police in Durban are looking for the head priest of a Hindu temple, after the shocking murder of a woman in the temple complex came to light.

Family members and devotees of the Sree Ramulu temple in the Mayville area of the city made the gruesome find after a woman of Indian origin, Premla Pillay, 49, failed to arrive at work Monday morning, reports the Post.

Pillay was apparently last seen alive at the temple with the head priest Gonnie Thangavellu Govender, 48, when she had gone there to collect a lamp. Her body was found in the living quarters of the complex.

"My mother had gone to the temple on Monday to collect the god lamp which she had given to Govender a few weeks ago to bless," the report quoted Kershin Pillay, son of the murdered woman, as saying.

"My brother Thirushe, who works as an accountant in Johannesburg, had recently moved to a new house there and my mother bought the god lamp for him," Kershin told the newspaper.

He said he last saw the priest on Saturday when he went to the temple with his mother.

Kershin said his father Thomas, 56, was alerted when his mum failed to arrive for work.

Meanwhile, temple chairman Morgan Doorsamy said they became concerned when the head priest failed to perform Monday night's weekly service at the temple.

"We used a spare key to open the temple and start the service without the priest. After service I went to the priest's living quarters to look for him. I banged on the doors and windows, but there was no response.

This was highly unusual behaviour for Gonnie and I even called on his cell phone but it went to voice mail," Morgan said.

First Published: Sep 14, 2006 11:57 IST