A couple was killed in Lakkalakatti village of Gadag district of Karnataka after they were allegedly attacked with clubs and stones on Wednesday afternoon. The brother and uncle of the woman, Gangavva, were arrested for the murders.
The couple, Ramesh (29) and Gangavva (23), had married three years ago in spite of objections raised by family members since they were of different castes, a local resident said.
The duo had fled the village and had been working in Bengaluru and Shivamogga as construction labourers. According to a resident of the area, the couple used to visit the village once a year for 1-2 days. "There were panchayat raj discussions held with seniors in the village. They had warned the couple not to visit the village for 3-4 years because it hurt their pride but this year, the couple visited during Deepavali and stayed on for 8 days," a local source said.
Ramesh was a Dalit man, while Gangavva belonged to the Lambani caste. They eloped and married each other three years ago.
On Wednesday afternoon, at around 3 pm, the couple was allegedly attacked by Ravi and Shivaji, Gangavva's brother and uncle respectively, in front of their house. The duo allegedly beat the couple to death and then surrendered themselves at the Gajendragad police station on the same evening.
Police officials investigating the case however denied that caste was the reason for the murder. "Ravi and Ramesh were friends and were close to each other. Ravi was irked that Ramesh fell in love with his sister and married her. This led to a rivalry between them and over the years, this personal animosity aggravated", Gadag Superintendent of Police Shrinath Joshi said.
Police are on the lookout for two more men believed to be involved in the murder.