In a landmark judgement, a sessions court in Tirunelveli awarded the death penalty to a couple in a case of honour killing.
Viswanathan, a Dalit man, who was working as a railway employee from Vannarpet in Palayamkottai had eloped with an engineering student, Kaveri, a caste Hindu girl from Mangalakudiyiruppu. They both secretly got married on December 29, 2015, reported The Hindu. After Kaveri completed her course, her parents started looking for a groom for her. On May 3, 2016, Kaveri and Viswanathan ran away from Tirunelveli.
Even as the couple were away, Sankaranaryanan visited Viswanathan’s house several times, threatening his family to return his daughter. Following the threats, Viswanathan’s father Shanmugavel approached the Palayamkottai police saying his son was missing and had sought protection for their family, reported Times of India.
On May 13, Kaveri’s parents, Sankaranarayanan and his wife Chellammal went to Viswanathan’s house in search of their daughter. After a heated argument with Viswananthan’s younger sister Kalpana, Sankaranarayan hacked her with an aruval. She died later.
Palayamkottai police arrested the couple on charges of honour killing. During the trial 17 witnesses were produced.
Judge K Abdul Khader awarded the death sentence to the couple. This is reportedly the first time the death sentence has been awarded for a case of honour killing.
The government has also ordered Rs 8. 75 lakh to be paid as compensation to Kalpana’s husband and Rs 11,600 to her two-year-old son until he attains the age of 21, reported TOI.