Tamil Nadu: Kin of upper-caste Hindu girl on the run after suspected ‘honour’ killing of Dalit teen
On coming to know of their daughter being in love with a Dalit boy, her parents had admonished her and told her to end the relationship.
By Vinodh Arulappan
In a case of suspected “honour” killing in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, a 19-year-old Dalit youth was murdered on Sunday, 23 July, by the relatives of an upper-caste Hindu girl with whom he was in a relationship.
The youth was identified as Muttiah, a resident of Swamidas Nagar in the Appuvilai village near Thisayanvilai in Tirunelveli district.
According to the police, Muttiah was working in the wedding-card-manufacturing industry and fell in love with a co-worker who belongs to the Nadar community.
On coming to know of their daughter being in love with a Dalit boy, her parents admonished her and told her to end the relationship.
On Sunday afternoon, the girl came to meet Muttiah at his residence in Swamidas Nagar.
In the evening, Muttiah took the girl on his motorcycle to drop her off at her residence in the Itamozhi village. He returned home after dropping her.
Around 8 pm, Muttiah informed his parents that he was going to meet a friend who stayed nearby.
As the hours passed and the boy did not return home, his brothers and relatives went out in search of him.
At midnight, they found Muttiah near a water body, lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds on his neck, chest, and abdomen. His body was taken to the house.
Upon receiving information, the Thisayanvilai police reached the spot and sent the body to the Tirunelveli Medical College hospital for a post-mortem examination.
The police also registered a case regarding the murder.
Tamil Nadu’s shame: 400 ‘dishonour crimes’ in 5 years — and counting
Girl’s relatives absconding
Meanwhile, Muttiah’s relatives accused the girl’s parents of his murder. During the investigation, the police found that the girl’s relatives were missing.
However, the Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police (SP) N Silambarasan maintained that the murder was not a case of honour killing and that the investigation was underway to ascertain the motive behind the crime.
Heavy police cover was deployed in the region to avoid untoward incidents between the two communities because of the incident, as the region has witnessed caste conflicts over the years.
On Monday, a group of Dalit activists protested in front of the district collectorate during the grievance meeting, urging the collector to take action against those who murdered the Dalit boy.
They also alleged that the police were trying to downplay the murder and were threatening the family of the deceased.
Third case since January
This is the third suspected case of “honour” killing reported in Tamil Nadu this year.
In March, a 25-year-old newly-married man was allegedly hacked to death by his wife’s parents.
In April, a man killed his son near Uthangarai in the Krishnagiri district for marrying a woman from a Scheduled Caste.
In June, for the first time in the state, the Tirunelveli Session Court ordered the death penalty for a father and mother who killed their young daughter in 2015 for marrying a Dalit boy, who was a railway employee.
In the same month, the Madras High Court upheld the life sentence awarded to the persons who were convicted in the infamous Gokulraj murder case.
The court said that the case brought out the dark side of human behaviour.
“The accused in this case were under the influence of a demon called caste,” the court said as it upheld the lower court judgement, confirming the life sentence — till death without any remission — to the convicts.
“It focuses our attention on the ugly facets of our society; the caste system, bigotry, inhuman treatment of persons belonging to the marginalised section, etc,” the court noted.
Courtesy : TSF
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