Father of Woman Confesses to Killing Inter-Caste Couple in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi
The man’s relatives claim that the police had earlier been informed of threats of violence from the woman’s father and had let him off with a warning.
New Delhi: The father of the Tamil Nadu woman who along with her husband was last week hacked to death for marrying out of caste, has admitted to committing the crime. The incident occurred in the wee hours of July 4 in the state’s Thoothukudi district.
Solairaj and Jothi – both 24-year-old – belonged to different Dalit castes and had recently gotten married. While Solairaj belonged to the Parayar community, Jothi belonged to the Pallar community – due to which her family opposed their relationship.
On the morning of July 4, when Solairaj’s mother went to check on the couple, she found their bodies “lying in a pool of blood” with multiple cut injuries on their necks and faces.
According to The News Minute, images of the crime scene indicate the brutality of the attack. The police say that a machete was used to saw into the wrists and necks of both the husband and the wife – who was pregnant. While Jothi’s father, 55-year-old Alagar, has confessed to killing the couple alone for marrying out of caste, Solairaj’s relatively claim the involvement of hired assassins.
The woman’s family had consistently opposed their relationship and the day Jothi had left for her husband’s house, her relatives had begun issuing threats. Her father along with some other men threatened them of violence. “In such cases,” Arun Balagopalan, superintendent of police, told TNM, “we usually just let people off with a warning.”
Activists, however, say that the police’s actions are in violation of a Madras high court order, which had asked for the formation of a Special Cell in all districts to handle matters concerning inter-caste couples. Pandian, the director of Social Awareness Society for Youth, told The News Minute: “The cell is required to give protection to couples who had concerns on safety and to provide counselling to the parents involved.”
The police on being informed of these threats let the father off with just a warning, TNM reported. The relatively now say the deaths could have been prevented if the authorities had taken a strict action earlier. The police, however, claim that the family had not specifically asked for protection.
Despite the barbaric nature of the crime, the police maintain that only Alagar was involved. Balagopalan told the news portal that the 55-year-old entered the couple’s house around 4 am on Thursday morning. Since there was no electricity, the two were sleeping on a mat in their small courtyard. “He used an aruval (machete) to murder them,” Balagopalan said, adding that Alagar had confessed to committing the crime alone.
He has been booked for murder and under the SC/ST Act.
Solairaj’s relatives, however, maintain that Alagar could not have overpowered the couple alone. They say that eyewitnesses claimed that a group of men was seen feeling the scene. “We are not very satisfied with the investigation,” TNM quoted the man’s uncle, Antony, as saying.
Courtesy: The Wire