Kevin's family said that they kept hoping the abductors will release their son, but it never happened.

Their son murdered for marrying Kerala Dalit family welcomes his bride home
news Ground Report Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 09:49

A large crowd stood outside the mortuary of the Kottayam Medical College on Monday evening. The angry crowd shouted slogans against the Kerala police even as 50-year-old Joseph Jacob alias Rajan watched from the sidelines. Rajan’s son, 23-year-old Kevin’s body had been found in the Chaliyakkara canal near Thenmala in Kollam on Monday morning.

Kevin’s death and the overwhelming feeling that he could have been rescued, had the police acted on time, had fueled the protests.

On Friday, Kevin and 21-year-old Neenu, a student of Geology and Water Management at the BK College in Amalagiri, Kottayam, had registered their marriage. After having learnt of the wedding, Neenu’s parents approached the Gandhinagar police in Kottayam claiming that their daughter had gone missing. When the police summoned the couple, Neenu told them that she wished to live with Kevin and since she was 21, she was free to decide who she wanted to marry.

This act angered her family further. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Kevin and his cousin Aneesh were abducted from his mother’s maternal home in Mannanam, a few km from his parents house in Nattasseri.

“A group of people in three vehicles had first come to Kevin’s house in Nattasseri. When they understood that Kevin was not at home, they went to his grandparents house,” Joseph, Kevin’s relative told TNM.

According to Kevin’s father Rajan, the attackers had vandalised the house and abducted the two young men. “The house was completely vandalised, Aneesh was attacked brutally. He told them he had to pee and they let him off the vehicle. He escaped and came home.  But by then, our neighours at Mannanam had already told us about the abduction and we had rushed to the Gandhinagar Police station,” he said.

Rajan (Centre)

But at the police station, the family say they were met with lack of empathy and arrogance from police officers. “We reached the station early morning on Saturday. They told us to wait. By noon, Neenu also came to the police station. She also asked the police to file a case against her brother and cousins, but they did it only in the evening.”

Neenu’s father is a Christian, while her mother is a Muslim. Rajan says that the girl’s affluent family did not approve of his son as they were not financially well off.

The family lives in a small rented house with bare minimum facilities at Nattasseri.

“We did not know about the relationship. But now we understand that Neenu’s parents were rich. Moreover, Kevin is a Dalit Christian. They may not have liked him because of these two reasons,” says Joseph.

Neenu’s brother Shanu is the first accused in the case and is absconding. His cousins Niyas and Ishan were arrested as they had gone to the house with Shanu to attack and abduct Kevin.

The heartbroken father said that his son had been their family’s only hope. “He had a job in the Gulf. He came back a few months ago. We did not know about the relationship but now we have been informed that he came back to Kerala as her parents were trying to get her married to someone else,” Rajan said.

The distraught father was largely silent even as people around him spoke angrily about the police’s callous behavior. “What can I do? The police should have acted, they should now reply,” he said.

Neenu who had fainted after hearing of Kevin's death, was rushed to the Kottayam Medical College on Monday morning. At the hospital, she hugged Rajan and cried, repeatedly telling him to bring 'her Kevin back'.

As Rajan came back from the Kottayam Medical College, he brought Neenu along with him. “She said she does not want to go to her parents house and that she doesn’t have anyone else. She asked me if she can come and stay at Kevin’s house, so I brought her with me. She belongs here now.”

Omana Mary, Kevin’s mother, in yellow

Sabu Mathew, a neighbour and Congress Mandal committee President had gone with Rajan to the police station. “We waited for hours. The police kept telling us that the Chief Minister had many events and providing him security was the priority. They asked us to wait,” he said.

This version was corroborated by Rajan and Neenu, who had both been at the police station.

“My son would never hurt anyone. He never told me that he wanted to get married and that there was opposition from the girl’s family. I kept hoping he will come back. I never thought he would die. My son only wanted to rescue her from an unhappy marriage. And now he is dead,” Omana Mary, Kevin’s mother said. 

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