Newly weds Nandesh and Swathi’s mutilated bodies were found floating near the Shivanasamudra Falls in Karnataka last week.

Hosur caste killing Police arrest all 6 accused deny reports that Swathi was pregnant
news Caste violence Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 20:02

Days after the horrific caste killing from Hosur came to light, the Mandya police have arrested all six accused in the case. Nearly three months after they eloped, Nandesh, a 25-year-old Dalit from Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu and his 20-year-old wife Swathi were brutally murdered, their bodies found floating near the Shivanasamudra Falls in Karnataka’s Mandya.

In a press note, the Belakavadi police stated that all six accused have been apprehended. While Swathi’s father Srinivas (43), uncle Venkatesh (50), and relative Krishnaswamy (26) were arrested earlier, another uncle Ashwath (48), relative Venkataraju, and Lakshman, a friend of Krishnaswamy were nabbed recently.   

Confirming to TNM that Nandesh and Swathi’s murders were caste killings, a police officer said, “The victims were found with their arms and legs tied. They were thrown into the water alive. First the man was beaten and he was thrown into the water, while she was made to watch. She was then beaten up and then dumped into the water.”

While there have been rumours that Swathi was pregnant, the police have confirmed that she was not. The police officer also denied reports stating that her head had been tonsured, and her stomach had been slit by her killers. The police, however, stated that the accused had done a recce of the spot at Mandya prior to the killings. "This was premeditated. The woman's family had planned to kill the couple once they tracked them down," he said.

Nandesh, who worked at a tiles shop and Swathi, who had recently completed her B.Com had been in a relationship for four years. While Swathi’s family had opposed their relationship and had allegedly threatened and attacked Nandesh and his family in the past, the two eloped on August 16. The couple had then lived in a one-room apartment in Hosur until the murder.

According to police, on November 10, Swathi and Nandesh had gone to listen to actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan speak at an event in Hosur. It was here that a relative of Swathi saw the couple and informed her uncle Ashwath, said the police.

On informing the other accused of their presence, they hired a taxi and rushed to the venue.

“Srinivas allegedly demanded that Swathi go back with him. He accused Swathi of shaming the family by marrying a man from a lower caste. They argued about the issue for hours and finally, Srinivas convinced the couple that the issue must be resolved at a police station. He convinced them to get into the Tata Sumo and they sped away from the venue at around 11 pm,” the police said.

Police say that Nandesh got suspicious when the car took a detour at NICE Road. When he questioned Srinivas, police said, “Srinivas told the couple that there was a famous Hanuman Temple, which they were to visit before resolving the issue. He convinced the couple that he was willing to come to terms with their marriage. But they drove all the way to Shivanasamudra Falls.”

When they reached Shivanasamudra, Srinivas and his brothers allegedly told Nandesh that it was impossible for the family to let him live after the shame he had brought upon them. The accused allegedly tied up Nandesh and Swathi’s hands and legs, beat them up and then threw them into the water alive.

Prior to the murder, Nandesh had sent an SOS message to his employer Sanjay stating that he had been kidnapped and was in Kanakapura. Although, Sanjay had seen the message only later the next day, he filed a missing persons complaint with the Hosur Town Police Station. The Belakavadi police then contacted their Hosur counterparts informing them of the bodies.

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