Dinesh, Sharmila's brother, who is accused number one in Praveen's murder case
Dinesh, Sharmila's brother, who is accused number one in Praveen's murder case

Chennai caste killing: Sharmila’s brother denied bail, two others granted bail

The bail application of Dinesh, accused of killing his brother-in-law Praveen, was rejected by the Chengalpattu district court.

The Chengalpattu district court on Friday, June 14, granted bail to two out of the five accused in the Pallikaranai caste killing case and dismissed the bail petition of Dinesh, who is the accused number one or A1 in the case. 

Praveen, a 22-year-old Dalit man from the Paraiyar caste, was killed on February 24 for marrying Sharmila, who belongs to the Yadava caste (classified as Other Backward Class). Sharmila’s brother Dinesh (24) and four others, Sriram (18), Vishnu (23), Jothi Lingam (25), and Stephen Kumar (24), were accused of murdering Praveen. 

Earlier, on April 8, 42 days after being arrested, two of the accused – Dinesh and Jothi Lingam – had applied for bail. It may be noted that as per the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, an accused cannot apply for bail before 60 days. Shortly after, Sriram had also applied for bail. However, the sessions court dismissed their bail applications

Following the completion of 60 days of their arrest, three of the accused – Dinesh, Jothi Lingam and Sriram – reapplied for bail. In the meantime, the Pallikaranai police had filed a chargesheet on May 18.

All three of their bail pleas were heard on Friday by the Chengalpattu district court. Sriram and Jothi Lingam were granted bail while the bail application of Dinesh (A1) was rejected. Noting that Dinesh is directly related to Sharmila, who died by suicide on April 22 following Praveen’s murder, due to the police’s alleged bias in probing the murder, the court refused to grant bail. 

The other two accused, Vishnu and Stephen Kumar, have now applied for bail as well. Their bail petitions have been posted for hearing on Wednesday, June 19. 

Senior advocate Bhavani B Mohan, who is the counsel for the victim, told TNM that the police had filed a chargesheet on May 18. “I am yet to get a copy of the chargesheet. Once I receive it, I will go through it and see what the next steps are,” he said. 

Previously, Bhavani B Mohan had also alleged that party workers and leaders associated with the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) are protecting the culprits from facing police charges in Praveen’s murder. He also alleged that public prosecutors and the police were biased towards Sharmila’s family since her father is in the DMK, and had called for an impartial probe by the CB-CID or the CBI. 

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