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Singaporean student found dead in Brisbane hotel

Priscilla Pho

Mon Mar 31 2014


SINGAPOREAN student Meena Narayanan was found dead on March 25, after being allegedly stabbed by an Indian national from South Africa. Priscilla Pho and Diane Leow report.

Meena Narayanan, a student of Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Master of Business program, was found dead with multiple stab wounds to the stomach just after 12.30am at the Upper Mount Gravatt Travelodge in Brisbane on March 25, according to reports by The Australian.

Meena Narayanan was completing a Masters of Business at Queensland University of Technology. Image: Facebook.

Meena Narayanan was completing a Masters of Business at Queensland University of Technology. Image: Facebook.

Police arrived and forced their way in after a hotel staff member called the police when guests reported screaming from the room on the third floor. They found the body of Ms Narayanan, 27, and a wounded Senthill Kumar Arumugam, 31.

Arumugam, an Indian national from South Africa, allegedly called reception for help before the police arrived. He was suffering from stab wounds that are suspected to be self inflicted.

The police later charged Arumugam in the Princess Alexandra Hospital for stabbing Ms Narayanan multiple times in the stomach, smothering her with a pillow and slitting her throat.

Policemen were posted at his hospital room until he was remanded into custody.

International student peak body Council of International Students Australia (CISA)’s president Thomson Ch’ng expressed his shock and condolences to Ms Narayanan’s family.

“This is indeed a sad story for family members, friends and close ones of Ms Narayanan. We mourn the loss of another international student and a future graduate of Australia.

“Actions need to be taken for justice. We condemn such acts of cruelty. Our prayers, condolences and thoughts go to her family and loved ones,” he told Meld.

Initial claims state that the pair were to be wed in an arranged marriage, but one of Narayanan’s family members recently rebuffed this rumour, telling The Courier Mail that some information given to the police were incorrect.

“I would like to only clarify that the accused was in the country to meet (Ms Narayanan). There was no marriage that was arranged,” he said.

The family member also stated that Ms Narayanan was looking forward to working in Australia or in Singapore.

Acting Detective Inspector Tod Reid for Mount Gravatt told The Courier Mail that Narayanan’s family is helping the investigation.

“Her family are quite distraught obviously and we’re speaking with them at the moment to gather background as to why this incident happened,” he said.

Friends of Narayanan have taken to social media to express shock and post tributes for the Singaporean woman.

“I couldn’t believe it so I kept calling her continuously for two hours,” Paul Louis Liew told the Brisbane Times.

He and another friend spoke to Brisbane Times describing Narayanan as “a very strong woman” and “a joy to be with”.

Arumugam is set to return to the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court for a mention hearing on May 5.