A case of ostracisation, torture and extortion of money from a family for allowing an inter-caste love marriage has come to light in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.
The incident happened in Jogirpalayam village near Shoolagiri. Chandru, 23, from Jogirpalayam village fell in love with Deivanai, also from the same village. The only thing that stood between them was caste. The girl was from a dominant caste in the region. They got married in 2017 and since they were from different castes, they had avoided going to their village and hence moved to Hosur to start their life.
Meanwhile, Chandru‚Äôs parents and brother continued to live in Jogirpalayam.
In April, when Chandru went to visit his parents with his wife and baby, the unelected headman of the village Ragavan, and three others, barred him from entering the village, because he married out of caste. They also locked his parents and brother out of their own house.
‚ÄúThey also put a barbed wire fence around my house so that nobody can enter the house. They ordered my family to live in a shed outside the house and appointed guards to watch over them,‚ÄĚ said a complaint submitted by Chandru to the Superintendent of Police, Krishnagiri on Monday.
Chandru has also alleged that they asked him to pay Rs 3 lakh as fine for the family to be allowed to live in their own house, and when they fought back and told them that this was unfair, the headmen ‚Äėreduced the fine‚Äô to Rs 1 lakh.
‚ÄúMy parents are suffering without proper clothes or food,‚ÄĚ said the complaint.
The SP ordered Shoolagiri Police Inspector Murugan to probe the incident and take appropriate action.
The inspector visited the village and removed the fence. He conducted an inquiry with Chandru‚Äôs parents. Based on the information provided by the family, Ragavan, Chinnasami, Selvan and Govindhan were taken into custody.
Speaking to TNM, the inspector said, ‚ÄúThis practice of unelected headmen running the affairs of the village is wrong and unacceptable. We have courts in the country and the people must take their problems there and solve it. The demand for money and intimidation done by these men is atrocious.‚ÄĚ
An FIR has been registered on all four of them under sections 448 (house-trespass), 384 (Extortion) and 506 (Criminal Intimidation) of the IPC and they have been remanded in judicial custody.