The family of a 14-year-old Dalit girl, who was beheaded by her neighbour near Salem, has demanded that the accused be given the highest punishment for the heinous crime he committed. The 14-year-old girl was murdered in front of her mother’s eyes on Monday evening by their neighbour Dinesh Kumar. He allegedly chopped her head off using a sickle and flung it on to the road. The police, who arrested Dinesh Kumar on Tuesday, had told TNM that the motive behind the gruesome crime was not yet clear.
The investigating officer, on Thursday had told TNM that although there were no marks of injury on the victim’s body, chances are high that POCSO Act is invoked in the case. “Provisions of POCSO act include sexual advances without necessarily establishing physical contact, using speech or gestures. The investigation now has taken that route,” he said.
Speaking to TNM, the 14-year-old’s mother said that Dinesh Kumar must be given capital punishment, the highest punishment that is available for having killed her daughter.
“The day of the incident was the first time Dinesh Kumar misbehaved with my daughter. He said, ‘Sleep with me and I’ll give you flowers and thread’. In fact, she told me about this when we were stringing flowers inside the house. That was when Dinesh stormed into the house with a sickle,” she said.
She said that nobody else knew about the sexual advances made by Dinesh towards her daughter since the girl’s father goes off to work for two or three days at a time and that this was the first time that she had confided in her about Dinesh’s behaviour.
The mother also demanded that the police arrest Dinesh’s wife and his brother and investigate them.
“When Dinesh was coming to our house with a weapon, his wife could have raised her voice and warned us. We would have at least gotten out of the house and ran. But she didn’t. Neither did his brother, who was also there. In fact, after Dinesh killed my daughter and left with her head, his wife and brother were waiting outside the house. They told him to leave the head inside our house itself. This was a planned murder and hence the police must arrest those two,” she said.
Dinesh’s wife Saradha had earlier told TNM that Dinesh had been undergoing mental health treatment. Blaming a business decision for wreaking havoc on Dinesh’s mental health, Saradha had told TNM that Dinesh, a caste Hindu, did not like the girl coming to their house since she is from a lower caste group.
Rubbishing the claims that Dinesh was a person with mental illness, the mother said, “If he was really a psychopath as claimed by his wife, he could have attacked anybody. He passed by all his family members and came over to my house to kill my daughter. How can he be someone with mental illness?”
Dinesh has been booked under sections 294 (Obscene acts and songs) and 302 (Murder) of the IPC and sections 3(1)(r) (Intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe in any place within the public view), 3(1)(s) (abuses any member of a Scheduled caste or a Scheduled Tribe by caste name in any place within public view) and 3(1)(va) (Commits any offence specified in the Schedule against a person or property knowing that such person is a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe) of the SC/ST (Prevention of atrocities) Amendment act, 2015.
According to sources, the FIR now includes relevant sections of POCSO Act.