Tamil Nadu elderly couple who fought armed robbers felicitated with special bravery award on Independence Day

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Published: August 16, 2019 2:29 PM

Tamil Nadu government has honoured an elderly couple from Tirunelveli with a special bravery award for fighting armed robbers outside their home to foil a burglary bid. The couple was awarded with Rs 2 lakh and gold medals during the 73rd Independence Day celebrations in Chennai.

Tirunelveli old coupleTamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palanisamy awards Rs 2 lakh and gold medals to Tirunelveli elderly couple.

The elderly couple from Tirunelveli who fought armed robbers outside their home to foil a burglary bid have been felicitated with a special bravery award by the Tamil Nadu government. A report in The Indian Express said that Chief Minister E Palanisamy awarded the couple with Rs 2 lakh and gold medals during the 73rd Independence Day celebrations in Chennai on Thursday. A video of the incident had gone viral on social media.

Shanmugavel (70), a lemon wholesale dealer, was sitting outside his home when robbers tried to strangulate him. His wife Senthamarai (65) rushed to his help as soon as she learned about the attack.

The incident took place on Sunday at the couple’s farmhouse in Kalyanipuram under Kadayam police station limits. The CCTV footage showed armed robbers trying to strangulate the old man when he was sitting outside his home. As soon as his wife learned that robbers have attacked her husband, she came out and engaged with one of the robbers. Somehow, the old man managed to get out of the robber’s clutch and fought with him using the chairs and slippers.

Tirunelveli District Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish had recommended the names of the couple for bravery and courage awards. The Ambasamudram Tahsildar took the couple to Chennai on Wednesday by air to meet the CM.

Speaking to reporters after receiving the award, the couple said that they had never thought that the CM would contact them personally and inquire about the incident. They also asked everyone to install CCTV at their home.

“We are very happy and excited to receive this award. Everyone should install CCTV cameras at their house or make use of the available cameras installed in the neighborhood for their safety,” they said. Senthamarai told IE that they have been living at the farmhouse for the last 40 years and she had never heard about such an incident. According to her, she was speaking to her younger son at around 9:30 PM when she heard husband’s voice.

“I suddenly heard my husband’s voice and saw the burglars attacking him,” the lady said, adding that she immediately rushed outside to his rescue.

The video of the incident showed the lady throwing whatever she could grab at the robbers. The robbers, she said, then ran away quickly. “I sustained a cut in my hand when I tried to push one of the thieves down with a chair. We chased them but they ran away quickly,” she rued.

The lady said that when she returned to the house, she realised that she lost her gold thali (plate) to the robbers.

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