Murdered Dalit youth faced constant threat

The murderous attack on Dalit youth V. Sankar (22) and his young wife Kausalya (19) at Udumalpet in Tirupur district on Sunday was an outcome of simmering differences between the two families over the last eight months.

While Sankar died in the assault, his wife is recovering from grievous head injuries in the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital.

Quoting family and friends of Sankar, a fact-finding team of Evidence, a human rights organisation that visited the scene of crime, said that the Dalit youth was under constant threat from his in-laws ever since he married Kausalya in July 2015. The couple settled in Komaralingam, his native village, near Udumalpet.

On one occasion, Kausalya was kidnapped and taken to Usilampatti by her relatives and was later rescued by the police. “Even last week, Kausalya’s parents came to Komaralingam and offered Rs. 10 lakh to Sankar’s family to send the girl with them. When she objected to this, they threatened her with dire consequences. Sankar was also threatened often…had the Madathakkulam police taken action on his complaints, this murder could have been averted,” said A. Kathir, executive director of Evidence.

The Udumalpet police have registered a case under Section 302 (murder) of IPC and also invoked the provisions under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the suspects. Perusing video footage, investigators reportedly identified two of the assailants, police sources said.

Meanwhile Chinnasamy, father of Kausalya, surrendered before a Judicial Magistrate in Nilakottai in Dindigul district.

‘81 honour killings’

Mr. Kathir said the murder of Sankar was not consequent to any sudden provocation but a well-planned case of ‘honour killing’. Seeking a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the aggrieved family, he said 81 honour killings have been reported in Tamil Nadu since July 2013 and a majority of the victims were women. There were instances where women who married or fell in love with other caste men were murdered and their bodies burnt to erase evidence.

Stressing on the need for a stringent law to prevent honour killings, he said cases of alleged suicides where the family disposed of bodies without conducting post-mortem should be investigated as a case of murder.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 3:48:37 AM |

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