The bodies of the Indian couple who died of stab wounds in their New Jersey apartment will be cremated in the United States and that of their unborn child will be buried here because of the worsening coronavirus situation in their home state of Maharashtra in India, those involved with the last rites told indica News.
The brothers of both Balaji Rudrawar his wife, Aarti B Rudrawar, are still trying to get visas to come to the US, said Mohan Nannapaneni, founder of Team Aid, a non-profit that helps Indians living abroad who need emergency assistance.
“We are not going to withhold the cremation; it’s on Wednesday [April 14] because the family wanted to do it as soon as possible,” Nanapaneni told indica News. After a pause, he added: “Also, they have multiple wounds in their body.”
Around 5:41pm on April 7, police in North Arlington, New Jersey received a 9-1-1 call from a neighbor of the Rudrawars who said that she looked through the mail slot in the front door of 21 Garden Terrace, Apartment E, and observed two people lying on the floor in the living room area.
Officers forced entry into the apartment and found Balaji, 33, and Aarti, 31, with multiple stab wounds. A young child was also located in the apartment but had not been harmed. An investigation revealed that Aarti died as a result of multiple stab wounds inflicted by her husband, Balaji. Balaji also died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
The county did not disclose that Aarti was seven months pregnant.
“There are three bodies and we are going to bury the baby and cremate the two,” Nanapaneni told indica News.
He said the final rites including the public viewing that happened on April 12 would cost around $10,000, and that Balaji’s employers, Larsen & Toubro, were helping.
Asked if any temple had offered service, Nanapaneni said: “Unfortunately, none of these Hindu temples across the country help. And most of these temples don’t even provide a free priest.
“In this case we have hired a private priest and we are paying $400-$500. I don’t blame the priest but we donate thousands and thousands of dollars to temples and they are not useful for the community…. All we need is a priest for an hour and they don’t even allocate that,” said Nannapaneni, who has been running the service of helping families in crises since 2017.
He also shared that for the past year the number of deaths due to car accidents has come down but suicide and domestic violence death cases have gone up. Last year, Team Aid helped more than 12 deaths, he said.
Balaji and Aarti’s friends have set up a Gofundme page for the couple’s three-and-half-year-old daughter, who was seen crying over the bodies of her parents.