Praveen-Sharmila’s Chennai intercaste love story that ended in his gory murder

While caste killings predominantly make headlines from southern Tamil Nadu, Praveen’s murder — arguably one of the first gory caste killings to have taken place in Chennai in recent times — has shaken the local residents.
Sharmila at Praveen's funeral in Pallikaranai, Chennai.
Sharmila at Praveen's funeral in Pallikaranai, Chennai.Nidharshana Raju
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Nineteen-year-old Sharmila from Chennai lost her husband Praveen to a caste killing on Saturday, February 24. At the funeral the next day, Sharmila was spotted wearing Praveen’s shirt over her clothes, clinging to the freezer box which held Praveen’s mortal remains. As the funeral procession began, an inconsolable Sharmila was heard saying, “He said he won’t ever leave me alone. Now he is gone.” Since that day, she has been unable to digest any food or water and has been on IV fluid support at a local hospital.

Praveen (22) belonging to the Paraiyar caste (classified as Scheduled Caste) was killed by Sharmila’s brother Dinesh (24) and four other men, in the Pallikaranai locality. Four out of the five men – including Dinesh – are caste Hindus, belonging to the Yadava community (classified as Other Backward Caste), while the fifth man is a Christian from the Pariyar caste. Although the men were arrested and charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 302 (murder) and under Section 3(2) (v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the victim’s family has levelled allegations of police negligence, saying that the crime could have been prevented.

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