Investigation into a case of suspected honour killing in Tamil Nadu gathered pace on Monday following the surrender of the father-in-law of a Dalit man, who was murdered allegedly by his upper-caste in-laws in Tirupur district.
A gang of unidentified men armed with hatchets and sickles rode into Udumalaipettai town in Tirupur district and hacked 22-year-old Shankar to death in broad daylight. He died en route to hospital.
His wife Kausalya – a member of the dominant Thevar caste -- who was with him at the time of the incident, was critically injured and admitted to the ICU later.
In a statement to the police, she blamed her family members for her husband’s death and told the police that she had complained about the threat from her family earlier.
The woman’s father has surrendered in court and denied having played any role in the attack, police said.
The couple fell in love while studying at an engineering college in Palani and got married around eight months ago. However, the girl’s family tried to take her away even when she told the police that she had married the man of her own free will.
An eyewitness said few people who tried to help the couple were also attacked.
Police said all checkposts in and around Udumalaipettai were alerted for a lookout against the killers.
The incident that triggered widespread condemnation is the latest in a string of caste-related violence in the past year.
Two Dalit children were burnt to death in Faridabad, followed by the suicide of PhD scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad. Last week, a Dalit boy drowned in a well in Madhya Pradesh after being denied access to water and a Dalit family was beaten up in Uttar Pradesh for touching a Brahmin man.