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Kerala honour killing: Wife’s brother, father held day after man’s body found in a stream

Kevin Joseph was allegedly abducted from his relative’s house in Kottayam and his body was found in a stream in neighbouring Kollam on Monday morning.

india Updated: May 29, 2018 21:13 IST
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala honour killing,Kerala murder,Kerala
Kevin Joseph’s body was found in a stream on Monday, two days after his wedding.(Representative image)

A day after the newly-married Kevin Joseph (23) was found dead in a stream, Kerala police on Tuesday arrested the brother and father of the wife Neenu from north Kerala while they were trying to flee to Bengaluru.

Neenu’s brother Shanu Chacko -- the main accused -- and her father Chacko -- another accused in the case -- were arrested from Iritty in Kannur district, police said. Out of the 14 accused, five have been arrested and efforts are on to nab the rest, they said.

Amid mounting protests, Kevin’s body was buried in Kottayam on Tuesday evening. Police had to resort to lathi-charge on a number of occasions to control the mourners.

Kevin was allegedly abducted from his relative’s house in Kottayam on Sunday and his body was found in a stream in neighbouring Kollam district on Monday morning. A day before Kevin’s murder, his wife sat on a day-long protest at the Gandhi Nagar police station in Kottayam and pleaded with cops to save her husband. She was reportedly rebuffed by officials who said they were busy with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s visit.

Kevin, a Dalit Christian, and Neenu (21), a Christian from an affluent family, had married against the wishes of the woman’s parents on Friday. He was working as an electrician and she was studying at a private college in Kottayam. “They were in love for last three years. On Friday, they had registered their marriage at the sub-registrar’s office but they were summoned to the police station after Neenu’s parents filed a missing person complaint,” said Melvin, a friend of Kevin.

He said though Neenu’s parents belonged to different communities (father a Christian and mother a Muslim), they opposed their daughter’s relationship because of Kevin’s Dalit background and poor economic conditions.

Kerala chief minister said the incident was unfortunate because the woman’s parents also belonged to different communities. “Sad because the girl’s parents also had a love marriage and they belonged to different communities. They have conveniently forgotten this. If they kept the spirit alive, this sad incident wouldn’t have happened” Vijayan said on Tuesday.

Kevin’s post-mortem report listed drowning as the main cause of death. Police now suspect that after thrashing him, the assailants might have thrown the unconscious victim into the stream.

“Investigation is at the initial stages. We can’t divulge any details because it will affect the probe,” said Special Investigation Team (SIT) head Inspector General of Police Vijay Sakhara. The government had transferred the Kottyam SP and suspended three police officials in connection with the case that invited enough embarrassment to it.

First Published: May 29, 2018 21:10 IST