TN Kallar woman who returned to her parents after marrying Dalit man murdered

Aishwarya’s family members who came to know that she had married Naveen, a Dalit, had taken her home after lodging a missing complaint with the Palladam police.
TN Kallar woman who returned to her parents after marrying Dalit man murdered
Written by:

In a shocking incident in Pattukottai in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district, a woman from the Kallar community was allegedly killed by her family members on January 3 for marrying a Dalit man. Aishwarya, who hailed from Neyvaviduthi in Pattukottai, married Naveen, who hailed from Poovaloor village in the same locality. Naveen belongs to the Devendra Kula Vellalar community, which is classified as a Scheduled Caste. Kallar, a dominant caste and subgroup of the politically powerful Thevar community, is classified as a Backward Class (BC) in the state. 

Naveen (19) and Aishwarya (19) knew each other since their school days. Naveen completed a Diploma in mechanical engineering and got a job in a garment factory in Tiruppur, where he stayed in accommodation given by the company. Aishwarya completed her higher secondary education and also found a job in Tiruppur in a power loom. The couple had been in love for the last one and a half years, according to the First Information Report (FIR). 

In his police complaint, Naveen mentioned that the couple got married after they came to know that Aishwarya’s family members knew about their relationship. However, the marriage itself is legally void because Naveen is only 19. On January 1, the couple rented a house in the Veerapandi locality and started their life. 

On the afternoon of January 2, Palladam police station officials reached their house and asked Aishwarya to visit the police station as her family members had lodged a missing complaint. “They took her from our house, and I followed them and reached the police station and waited outside. Around 2 pm, Aishwarya’s father Perumal and his associates reached the police station and brought her out from the station within 30 minutes. When I went inside the police station and asked about it, I was told that they were going to her village,” Naveen noted in his complaint and added that the police warned him that if he tried to meet her again, her family members would beat him.

Read: TN civil society silent, govt response lukewarm on caste atrocities, say Dalit scholars 

According to the FIR, Naveen reached Poovalur on the same night. The following morning, he received news that his wife was no more and her body had been cremated urgently.

Vattathikottai police sources said that Aishwarya was found dead in her room on January 3. On January 7, Naveen lodged a complaint against her family members alleging that they had killed her. A case was registered under sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 201 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 201 stipulates the punishment for anyone who knows that any offence has been committed, destroys the evidence of that offence or gives false information in order to screen the offender from legal punishment.

The police detained six family members from Aishwarya's family on January 9 for inquiry. According to the police, they were on the run ever since the incident took place and police suspect more of her relatives were involved in this crime. The police source further noted that they are yet to make any arrests and the investigation is going on.

The spine-chilling death of young Aishwarya mimics the case of C Vimaladevi from Usilampatti who died under mysterious circumstances in 2014. She was a Kallar woman who had married a Dalit man and sought refuge in a police station in Kerala. Later, the couple was brought to Tamil Nadu to complete an inquiry based on a complaint given by Vimala’s father. Her parents took her home with assurance to the police that she would be fine. But the very next day, she was found dead and her remains charred to ashes before the police could arrive at the spot.

Read: Unbearable torment: What inter-caste couples in TN have to endure for ‘caste pride’  

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute