Wife’s Kin Arrested in Kerala Man’s Murder, Protests Hit Kottayam
Political parties & Dalit organisations called a hartal to protest against the alleged ‘honour killing’ of the man.
A day after it emerged that 23-year-old Kevin P Joseph was murdered allegedly at the instance of his wife Neenu's relatives, the police on Tuesday, 29 May, arrested her father and brother in connection with the death.
Earlier on Tuesday, three more people had been arrested in connection with murder.
Neenu and Kevin had got married in court on Friday, 25 May, while the girl's family had allegedly objected to their marriage. However, in a tragic turn of events, Kevin and his friend Anish were allegedly abducted by a gang of armed men from his residence on early Sunday morning, reported The News Minute. Following a frantic search and the filing of a missing person complaint by Neenu, Kevin's body was ultimately found in a river on Monday, a few miles away from Thenmala in Kollam.
According to the police, while Kevin was a Dalit Christian, the girl's father is a Christian and her mother is a Muslim.
Various Groups Protest Against Alleged ‘Honour Killing’
In the meantime, normal life was affected in the Kottayam district on Tuesday following a dawn-to-dusk hartal called by various political parties and Dalit organisations to protest against the alleged 'honour killing' of Kevin, reported PTI.
Shops, markets, and business establishments remained closed in several parts of the district while private bus terminus in various towns wore a deserted look in view of the hartal called by parties including the Congress and the BJP.
This was on the day when Kevin's body was brought to his native Kumaranellore village, where locals paid an emotional homage before the burial.
Opposition Slams CM Pinarayi Vijayan
The issue was given also given a political colour, with former CM and Congress working committee member AK Antony saying current CM Pinarayi Vijayan should take responsibility for the alleged lapse on the part of the police in dealing with the case.
Notably, Neenu has alleged laxity on the part of the police and asserted that they failed to deliver justice in the case despite her appeals.
The leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Ramesh Chennithala demanded resignation of Vijayan.
On his part, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the incident as “unfortunate” and said it should not have happened.
Till now, the state government has taken action against several officials, On Monday, sub-inspector MS Shibu and grade ASI Sunnymon of the Gandhinagar police were suspended for laxity. Moreover, Kottayam's district superintendent of police, VM Mohammed Rafique, was also transferred in the aftermath of the incident.
The Kerala Human Rights Commission has also responded to the incident, saying it was suspected to be a case of honour killing as it ordered the state police chief to submit a report in three weeks, PTI further reported.
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