High Court directs Tiruchi and Kanyakumari police to provide protection

"The caste system is a curse on the nation and the sooner it is destroyed, the better… Inter-caste marriages are, in fact, in the national interest as they will result in destroying the caste system," was the observation made by a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in a judgment delivered on July 7, 2006.

The Bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhan and Markandey Katju also directed the police throughout the country to extend protection to inter-caste or inter-religious couples against harassment besides initiating action against those who resort to violence.

More than three years have elapsed since the judgement was delivered. Yet, the curse still continues.

On Thursday, a Dalit youth from Puthery village near Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district moved the Madras High Court Bench here, alleging that he was harassed by his in-laws for having married a caste Hindu girl and the police had failed to take stringent action.

V. Mahesh (23) claimed that he had been threatened, assaulted, abducted and forced to shave off his head.

Passing interim orders on a writ petition filed by him through his counsel U. Nirmala Rani, Justice D. Hariparanthaman directed the Tiruchi Police Commissioner and the Kanyakumari Superintendent of Police to provide protection to the couple.

According to the couple, they fell in love and married against the wishes of the girl’s parents at a local temple in Puthery on October 8, 2008. Since then they had been receiving threatening calls on their mobile phones until the local police intervened and negotiated a peace.

On April 9, the youth’s mother-in-law barged into the couple’s house along with a few persons and attempted to abduct his wife. The gang attacked him and his parents. The girl lodged a complaint with the Superintendent of Police and a case was registered against her mother and others.

Nevertheless, the harassment continued. Unable to bear the torture, the couple moved to Tiruchi. On September 8, a gang waylaid Mahesh and abducted him in a car with an intention to kill him in Andhra Pradesh. On the way, he was taken to a barber for shaving off his head so that his identity could not be established after his death.

Mahesh was shifted from one car to another half way through. To his luck, the gang leader in the second car sympathised with him after hearing his love story and allowed him to get off the vehicle at Perambalur. Thereafter, he came back to Tiruchi and lodged a complaint with the K.K. Nagar police, but to no avail.