Dharshinipriya, a 17 year old dalit girl succumbed to injuries today morning (June 29) after being attacked by the kin of her husband in Mettupalayam of Coimbatore district. The intercaste marriage of Kanagaraj and Dharshinipriya had irked the elder brother of the former. The vicious attack by Vinodh Kumar on Tuesday, June 26, resulted in the immediate death of Kanagaraj, while Dharshinipriya was hospitalised with severe injuries.
The boy belonged to the Valayar community, while the girl was from the Arunthathiyar community. The couple and the family of the girl were reportedly under continuous threat from Vinodh Kumar for being in love. It was alleged that he along with his friends attacked the couple who had rented a home after getting married.
The police had already booked the accused for murder, attempt to murder and also under the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Also read: ‘Honour Killing’ Suspected Behind Gruesome Killing of TN Couple
The number of honour killings in Tamil Nadu are on the rise during the past few years. In a recent judgement, the Madras High Court had observed that intercaste marriages are good for society for rooting out the caste system.
K Samuvel Raj, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) told NewsClick, “The killings are being condemned by dalit and human rights organisations including the TNUEF. But it is highly unfortunate that the Dravidian parties are reluctant in condemning such killings which is shameful for a progressive state like Tamil Nadu. Innocent lives are being ended cruelly in the name of caste and the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have not reacted to this crime. The laws should be made more powerful to stop such killings”.
According to the statistical data provided by Evidence, an NGO working for dalit and gender rights, 185 caste-based honour killings have happened in the state over a period of five years. “Honour killings happen for various reasons,” explains Kathir, the founder and executive director of Evidence while talking to Newsclick. “Among them caste-based honour killings alone amounts to 185 in the last five years alone. Only three cases had ended in conviction. Many were acquitted while many cases are still pending in courts and police stations,” he added.
Also read: Dalit Man in Tamil Nadu’s Thiruvarur District Abused and Tortured by Upper Caste Men