The man who nearly stabbed a student nurse to death after she rejected his marriage proposal claimed that the victim had intended to marry him in the period leading up to the incident.
Indian national Varadharajan Mahadevan Mahadevan, 33, who is on trial for attempting to murder the woman, then 19, said on Thursday (6 July) that the victim faced objections from her parents about the marriage plan. The victim cannot be named due to a gag order.
Even immediately after she was stabbed at the void deck of her flat on the morning of 20 December 2013, she never wavered in her plan, according to Varadharajan.
The two had first met at the National University Hospital where Varadharajan worked as a healthcare assistant while the victim was a student nurse. According to Varadharajan, the two had a relationship some time in March to December 2013.
According to the prosecution, Varadharajan had stabbed and slashed the woman the day after she turned down his marriage proposal. As a result of the attack, she sustained more than 20 knife wounds on her head, neck, chest and abdomen.
She also has permanent facial nerve damage from a deep cut to her neck and a 20cm-long scar that runs from the top of her left ear down to her neck.
Under cross-examination this afternoon, Varadharajan insisted that the woman had never turned down his marriage proposal. He cited an occasion before 19 December 2013 when he had visited the woman’s flat to make a marriage proposal to her and her family.
That time, the woman’s parents rejected him and her father even called him a “gardener”, said Varadharajan through a Tamil interpreter.
He left the flat in tears but later received a call from the woman who said she would compromised with her father, said Varadharajan. The woman offered to call Varadharajan’s mother in India to tell her that she intended to marry him, he claimed.
Varadharajan disagreed with Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Bhajanvir Singh’s argument that between September and October, the woman called Varadharajan to tell him that she had been playing with him all along.
He also disagreed with the DPP’s suggestion that the family’s rejection of his marriage proposal on 19 December 2013 made it clear that the woman was never going to marry him.
However, it was on this very day that he became suicidal, said Varadharajan. While he was at the victim’s flat, a man whom the woman had called had approached Varadharajan. This man was the woman’s “cousin-brother”, according to him.
Said Varadharajan, “He said [to Varadharajan], ‘do you think she’s just your wife? She’s my wife and my brother’s wife as well’…Do I have to hear all this? That is why I want to commit suicide.”
He said he later returned to his flat and concealed a knife in his socks with the intention to commit suicide in front of the woman to show her the extent of his love.
He waited for her at the void deck of the woman’s flat and approached her when she exited the lift the next morning. While they were talking, Varadharajan said he saw a photo of her with her “cousin-brother” on her phone.
As to what happened after he saw the photo, Varadharajan insisted that he did not know. Said Varadharajan, “When I opened my eyes, it felt like someone was shaking me…there was blood all over [the woman’s] face, and she said ‘I intend to marry you but my parents are not accepting it’.
“After that she kissed and closed her eyes, it was me who made her lie down because she closed her eyes and I could not drop her.”
Varadharajan, who broke down on the stand, added that he intended to commit suicide after laying the woman down but found the tip of the knife bent. The woman’s father arrived while he was trying to straighten the knife, he said.
Varadharajan also disputed the statements that he recorded with the police on the day of the incident, claiming that he was “surprised and confused” by events and “did not wish to live in that situation”.
When the victim took the stand in February this year, she admitted to playing along with the man for months before cutting off contact with him.
Rengarajoo Balasamy, the lawyer for Varadharajan, produced audio recordings of phone conversations between the two where the woman had told Varadharajan “I love you” and “I want to be your wife”. They had also talked about getting married after the victim completed her studies.
In response, the woman, who is now 23, said that she was “young and immature” and was not aware of the consequences. The trial resumes on Friday.