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Kerala Killing: Newly-Wed Dalit Youth Found Dead in a Canal After Abduction by Wife’s Brother

The body of the 23-year-old Kevin was found by locals at Chaliyakkara stream, 20 km away from Thenmala.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18

Updated:May 28, 2018, 7:24 PM IST
Kerala Killing: Newly-Wed Dalit Youth Found Dead in a Canal After Abduction by Wife’s Brother
Image for representation only.

Kottayam: In a suspected case of honour killing in Kerala, a newly-married Dalit man, allegedly kidnapped by bride's brother, was found dead on Monday morning, on the day of crucial by-poll at Chengannur.

Kevin P Joseph, a resident of Nattassery in Kottayam, a Dalit Christian, was allegedly abducted by a 10-member armed gang sent by the family of his wife Neenu Chacko from Thenmala in Kollam district​.

Incidentally, the bride's father Chacko John is a Roman Catholic while mother Rehna is a Muslim. The police took almost 30 hours to register a complaint even as the woman approached the local police station.

Neenu, who collapsed on hearing the news of the death of her husband, has been admitted to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.

The body of the 23-year-old Kevin was found by locals at Chaliyakkara stream, 20 km away from Thenmala.

On Sunday, Neenu had approached Gandhinagar police station in Kottayam when she arrived at the police station along with her husband's friend and relatives seeking action against the gang. However, the police refused to register a complaint or take any action. The 20-year-old alleged in her complaint that the police cited lack of personnel due to the visit of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Neenu, in her complaint, said that her husband was abducted by her brother Shanu Chacko, as a revenge of the marriage.

Kevin and 31-year-old Anish, his relative, were abducted early on Sunday morning. The abductors left Anish on the way after thrashing him severely. Anish has been admitted to the Kottayam medical college hospital with serious injuries.

Kevin met Neenu while she was a student of a college in Kottayam. Both of them registered their marriage on Friday at a sub-registrar office as the family of the girl had objected to their marriage and threatened them against it. Later, Neenu's family registered a complaint with the police stating that she had gone missing. Though the police summoned the couple and the girl had confirmed her intention to go with Kevin. Kevin left the girl back at her hostel.

Later, the armed gang, which arrived in three vehicles, reached Kottayam nearly 112 kilometres away from Neenu’s house, and vandalised Kevin's house and forcibly took him away.

Kerala Human Rights Commission said it was suspected to be a case of honour killing and ordered the state police chief to submit a report in three weeks if there was any negligence.

A case has been registered against 10 unidentified persons in connection with the incident.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that he has directed the DGP to form a special team.

"Two teams have been deployed, one each at Kottayam and Kollam. Hopefully the culprits will be nabbed soon. The investigation will be coordinated by special team," said Vijayan.

The Chief Minister added that this should not have happened and said every complaint against police department will be dealt seriously. He said there will be strict action against the officers who fail to discharge their duties.

Heads started to roll soon after the incident with Sub Inspector M S Shibu and Grade ASI Sunnymon of the Gandhinagar police station suspended by Ernakulam Range IG Vijay Sahkare for their laxity.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, attacked Vijayan, who is also holding the Home portfolio, over the incident.

He urged Vijayan to quit the Home portfolio in view of such incidents in the state due to "inefficient policing".

The opposition, both BJP and the UDF were quick to announce a dawn to dusk hartal in Kottayam on Tuesday.

This is the third such incident from the state as the CBI Court in Kochi on May 18 had awarded life imprisonment to two relatives of a Muslim woman from Kasaragod, including her father who was found guilty in killing Balakrishnan, a Youth Congress leader for marrying her in 2001.

In another in March, a 42-year-old man from Malappuram was arrested for stabbing his daughter on the eve of her marriage with a Dalit. While other members of the family which belonged to backward Ezhava, agreed to their marriage, the bride's father objected to the caste of the bridegroom.

Curiously, in 2016 LDF government had a State-wide celebration on the hundredth anniversary “Namukku Jathiyilla” (I have no caste) declaration by Sree Narayana Guru, one of the greatest social reformers from the st​ate.

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