88 honour killings in State since 2013, says NGO

Tirunelveli victim’s family took the issue to police but to no avail

Updated - May 16, 2016 05:38 am IST

Published - May 16, 2016 12:00 am IST - MADURAI:

Firsthand account:Evidence team inquiring with the relatives of the Dalit family in Tirunelveli where a youth was murdered in a case of honour killing recently.

Firsthand account:Evidence team inquiring with the relatives of the Dalit family in Tirunelveli where a youth was murdered in a case of honour killing recently.

Since June 2013, at least 88 cases of honour killing were reported in Tamil Nadu.In a recent case, S. Viswanathan, a Dalit youth working with the Railways in Tirunelveli district, had fallen in love with a caste Hindu girl, S. Kaveri, from the same locality. They had got married and registered the marriage.

However, when Kaveri’s parents came to know about it, they threatened Viswanathan’s family, and allegedly murdered his sister in revenge.

The police registered a case and arrested the accused. In a bid to get more details, a team of investigators from an NGO, Evidence, visited the home of the youth. According to Evidence executive director A. Kathir, the family had repeatedly taken the issue to the police and lodged a complaint. However, the personnel at the station had not taken it seriously and suggested to call 100 the next time Kaveri’s parents came and threatened.

A few days ago, Viswanathan’s sister Kalpana (29) was hacked to death right in front of her father Shanmugavel and others by the accused, Sankara Narayanan, who is Kaveri’s father.

The police, which was aware of the entire issue, could have arrested Sankaranarayanan and prevented the murder. Apprehending trouble, Viswananthan, a railway employee, fled to an undisclosed destination with Kaveri.

Recalling the Udumalpet honour killing, where a Dalit youth was murdered in broad daylight by an armed gang in front of his wife, a caste Hindu, Mr. Kathir condemned the lackadaisical attitude of the Tirunelveli police and the State government, which, he said, had encouraged the offenders to take the law into their hands. He demanded a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the legal heirs of Kalpana and a government job.

He also urged the government to detain Sankaranarayanan under the Goondas Act. The Evidence team also wanted criminal action initiated against the police for inaction.

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