Kevin, a young man killed in May 2018 for marrying a woman from a higher caste and status, remains a haunting memory for most Keralites.
On Wednesday, 17 July, another young man called Harison Haris, appeared on a Facebook live, standing with his wife Shahana, and told those watching that he does not want to end up as 'another Kevin'.
The young couple narrated their story, and told Shahana's family and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) to stop issuing threats to them.
Harison, a Christian youth, said in the video that he has been facing threats for marrying Shahana, a Muslim woman. In the video, Harison says that problems started for them after he uploaded a picture of their wedding.
"I have been told that I will be killed at any time. I have been threatened by the Social Democratic Party of India and her relatives. They have threatened to kill my father, mother and my sister. We are scared to even call my dad and speak to him, that's when we decided to upload such a video," Harison said.
"I don't want to end up on a poster like Kevin for marrying the woman I loved," he says.
Shahana then speaks, sending a message to her parents to stay away from them, “I did not think of religion or caste when I fell in love or when I married him. I am still a Muslim, he hasn’t converted me, I haven’t said that I will convert. I have gone with him on my own will. What will you gain by killing us? You have nothing to gain. I don’t want to be killed, I want to live with him.”
Harison is a photographer and a native of Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram. Shahana is a native of Valapattanam in Kannur. Shahana is 19 years old while Harison is in his early 20s.
When the couple went missing for a few days, Harison’s family filed a missing complaint at the Attingal police station in the capital city, while Shahana’s family lodged the same complaint at the Valapattanam police station.
The couple, after missing for five days, appeared before the Attingal police on Thursday evening.
“He had been missing for five days. The last time he came home was on 14 July. After that we came to know that he eloped with the woman, and there has been no communication from his side. We then filed a complaint with the police and today they appeared before the police,” Harison’s father Stephen told TNM.
When asked if he supports the marriage and if he was aware of the death threats for Harison, Stephen declined to comment.
Attingal police said that Harison has been released after he was produced before the magistrate while Shahana was kept in the custody. “She has said that she wants to live with him. But since there is a missing case registered at the Valapattanam police, we will have to take her there or they will come here to get her custody.”
As per procedure, she will be released after she gives her statement to a magistrate, the police added.
(This story was published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)