2003 TN 'honour' killing case: One sentenced to death, life terms for 12
A Cuddalore court in Tamil Nadu on Friday (September 24) handed capital punishment to one person and life imprisonment to 12 others, including a serving inspector and a retired DSP in a ‘honour’ killing case dating back to 2003.
The case pertains to the killing of an inter-caste couple from Kuppanatham near Vriddhachalam in the district, allegedly by the woman’s family by setting them on fire after poisoning them, reportedly in the presence of many villagers.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had probed the case relating to the killing of Kannagi and her husband Murugesan, who had got married without their parents’ knowledge. They were killed after being brought from elsewhere. The investigating agency had taken up the probe into the case following a Madras High Court order.
S Murugesan (25), a chemical engineer, belonged to a Dalit community while D Kannagi (22) belonged to the dominant Vanniyar community. They fell in love during their college days and got married on May 5, 2003.
The couple, however, decided to keep the marriage a hush-hush affair fearing backlash from the woman’s family. Kannagi then went back to her parent’s house in an understanding that they won’t live together till Murugesan gets a job. Kannagi’s family, however, came to know about the secret marriage after a few days. Meanwhile, Murugesan got a job in Tirupur and returned to take Kannagi with him in July, 2003, a Frontline report says.
Kannagi’s father, C Duraisami, who was a panchayat president, got very upset and took his eldest son, Marudupandian, along and several other relatives to hunt for Murugesan in Virudhachalam, where the Dalit family lived.
Murugesan was caught by Kannagi’s family after a few days of search. They tortured him to reveal the whereabouts of Kannagi. Police said that Murugesan was tied upside down into a well in Puthu Kavaraipettai village and was threatened to be dropped if he did not tell the whereabouts of Kannagi. Murugesan couldn’t bear the pain and revealed Kannagi’s address.
Marudupandian then brought Kannagi to the village and made the couple drink a poisonous liquid. When the two died, their bodies were burned.
On Friday, Judge S Uttamarasa of special SC/ST court awarded death sentence to Kannagi’s brother Maruthupandi and awarded life term to the rest, including her father, a police inspector who was then sub-inspector and the retired DSP who served as inspector then, for alleged mishandling of the case.
According to the CBI counsel, two of the accused- Iyyasamy and Gunasekar, both relatives of deceased Murugesan, were released.
A police officer told The News Minute that Iyyasamy, Murugesan’s uncle, was forced to give poison to Murugesan as Kannagi’s father of Vanniyar community said he cannot touch Murugesan as he was a Dalit.
Besides, Kannagi’s family forced Iyyasamy and Gunasekar to burn his body. While Iyyasamy was riding the bike, Gunasekar riding pillion carried Murugesan’s body.
(With inputs from agencies)