By Gokul Vannan – MADURAI, IE
In a suspected case of honour killing, the police on Sunday arrested six people, including the parents of 21-year-old Sasikala, who died under mysterious circumstances at her house in Vilathur in Paramakudi Taluk on Saturday night.
Just 15 minutes after Sasikala’s death, her parents attempted to cremate her body secretly in a graveyard. Based on a tip-off from a villager, the police prevented the cover-up and took possession of the half-burnt body of Sasikala. “When we went to the graveyard, everyone had already fled. We have sent her half-burnt body for autopsy,” said N Suresh Babu, investigating officer of the Emaneswaram police station.
Sasikala, a Caste Hindu, had married Dalit Kottaisamy of Ponnaiyapuram secretly in a temple near Sathirakudi on October 11 against the wishes of her parents and escaped from the district. The duo had been in love for two years while studying in a Muthukulathur college. Afraid of Sasikala’s parents, the couple eloped to Dharapuram with the help of Kottaisamy’s friend Peramaiyan. Meanwhile, Karuppaiya, the girl’s father, filed a missing person complaint with Emaneswaram police. When Sasikala’s relatives learnt the duo was in Dharapuram, they went with former panchayat leader Narayanan and forcibly brought her to their village, said Kottaisamy’s kin. Then the police produced them in court and sent her with her parents.
The police received a message on Saturday night that Sasikala died after allegedly consuming poison and her father Karuppaiya, mother Kanthaayi and relatives were secretly cremating her body in the graveyard. Raising suspicion over the death, some villagers told the police that her parents would have forced Sasikala to consume poison because she married a Dalit.
“We have booked Karuppaiya, his wife Kanthaayi, their elder daughter Jamunadevi and three other relatives under section 306 of the IPC (abetment of suicide) and for hiding the death of their daughter,” said inspector Suresh Babu. “Only after examining the postmortem report, can we decide whether her parents killed her for protecting the honour of the family,” he added. The police remanded the six persons in the Judicial Magistrate’s Court in Paramakudi.
A Kathir, Executive Director of Evidence, an NGO working for Dalit rights, said the police obtained a written undertaking from Kottaisamy that he won’t interfere in Sasikala’s life hereafter.
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