The Tamil Nadu Government on Thursday presented a special bravery award to the Tirunelveli elderly couple who recently fought armed robbers who tried to strangle them earlier this week. The CCTV footage of the couple fending off the masked intruders with slippers, plastic stools, chairs, and buckets had gone viral on social media.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy awarded Shanmugavel (70), a lemon wholesale dealer, and his wife Senthamarai (65), a special bravery award with Rs 2 lakh in cash and gold medals during the 73rd Independence Day celebrations in the state. Tirunelveli District Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish had recommended the names of the couple for the government’s bravery and courage awards. The Ambasamudram Tahsildar took the elderly couple to Chennai on Wednesday by air to meet the chief secretariat.
Speaking to reporters after the event, the couple said: ”We never expected the chief minister to contact us and personally inquire about the incident. 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.”
The incident took place at the couple’s farmhouse in Kalyanipuram under Kadayam police station limits.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Senthamarai said she has always been bold from an early age. “We have been living in this farmhouse for 40 years and I haven’t come across anything like this before. On Sunday, while I was speaking to my younger son around 9.30 pm, I suddenly heard my husband’s voice and saw the burglars attacking him,” she said.
Senthamarai immediately rushed outside and started throwing whatever items she could grab at the robbers, she said. “I threw whatever I could lay my hands on. 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.
“After returning to the house, I learnt that I had lost my gold thali to the culprits,” she said, adding that she was more determined to capture the intruders rather than safeguarding herself.
In the CCTV footage, Senthamarai is seen attacking the robbers with slippers and other items as Shanmugavel breaks free from the intruder’s grip and joins his wife. The struggle came to an end after the two burglars fled the spot.