The couple got married five days ago and were back in their village for bank-related work, when they were invited for a feast by the woman’s brother.

Tamil Nadu inter-caste couple invited by woman’s family for feast, hacked to death. In the backdrop are their bodies being taken by the police.
news Crime Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 12:26

Five days after an inter-caste couple got married, the woman’s family murdered her and her newly-wed husband near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. The woman’s family, which had opposed the match, lured the couple home on the pretence of a reconciliatory feast, and attacked and killed them. The murder took place in Thulukkaveli village on the evening of Monday, June 13. Two persons — Saranya’s brother Sakthivel (31) and his brother-in-law Ranjith (24) — have been arrested.

Saranya (23) and Mohan (28) were working as nurses in a private hospital. They had been in a relationship and got married five days ago. While Saranya belonged to the Paraiyar community, categorised as Scheduled Caste (SC), Mohan belonged to the Sengunthar Mudhaliyar community, which falls under the Backward Classes (BC) category in Tamil Nadu.

According to the police, Sakthivel was opposed to their marriage and wanted Saranya to marry Ranjith, who is his wife’s brother. Sakthivel was irked by the fact that Saranya got married to a person from another caste against his will.

Sakthivel and Ranjith met Mohan and Saranya when they were at a bank in Sozhapuram. Saranya had pledged jewellery belonging to her friend at the bank, and the couple had gone there to collect the jewellery. This was when Sakthivel and Ranjith invited the couple for a family dinner at their house.

The couple accepted the invitation. After finishing dinner, the couple were about to head out of the house when Sakthivel and Ranjith attacked them with weapons. Saranya and Mohan sustained grievous injuries and died on the spot. The Federal reported that Ranjith rounded up the couple as they were attempting to escape and hacked them to death.

Left: Ranjith; Right: Sakthivel (Special Arrangement)

The bodies were sent to the Kumbakonam Government Hospital for autopsy. Sakthivel and Ranjith have been arrested and booked under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Speaking to TNM, Kathir, executive director of the rights organisation Evidence, said that cases like these highlight the need for a special law against ‘honour killings’.

“Such killings are motivated by various factors. Often it is caste, but religion, gender, sexuality, race, linguistic identity have all been factors that have led to honour killings. Here, a woman’s right to choose her partner has been denied. That she dared to defy the patriarchal notions of a brother or a father’s will, to marry someone. This has to be condemned without hesitation.”

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