In a landmark judgement, a sessions court in Tirunelveli awarded the death penalty to a couple in a case of honour killing.
Viswanathan, a Dalit man, who was working as a railway employee from Vannarpet in Palayamkottai had eloped with an engineering student, Kaveri, a caste Hindu girl from Mangalakudiyiruppu. They both secretly got married on December 29, 2015, reported The Hindu. After Kaveri completed her course, her parents started looking for a groom for her. On May 3, 2016, Kaveri and Viswanathan ran away from Tirunelveli.
Even as the couple were away, Sankaranaryanan visited Viswanathanâ€™s house several times, threatening his family to return his daughter. Following the threats, Viswanathanâ€™s father Shanmugavel approached the Palayamkottai police saying his son was missing and had sought protection for their family, reported Times of India.
On May 13, Kaveriâ€™s parents, Sankaranarayanan and his wife Chellammal went to Viswanathanâ€™s house in search of their daughter. After a heated argument with Viswananthanâ€™s younger sister Kalpana, Sankaranarayan hacked her with an aruval. She died later.
Palayamkottai police arrested the couple on charges of honour killing. During the trial 17 witnesses were produced.
Judge K Abdul Khader awarded the death sentence to the couple. This is reportedly the first time the death sentence has been awarded for a case of honour killing.
The government has also ordered Rs 8. 75 lakh to be paid as compensation to Kalpanaâ€™s husband and Rs 11,600 to her two-year-old son until he attains the age of 21, reported TOI.