Man, pregnant wife hacked to death over inter-caste marriage
An inter-caste couple was murdered by an unidentified group of people in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district on Thursday in what local police believe is a hate crime. The woman was three months’ pregnant at the time of her killing.
If the police assessment on it being a hate crime is true, this will be the second such incident in a week after the murder of an inter-caste couple in Coimbatore on July 25.
Police at Kulathur, Thoothukudi, identified the victims as Solairajan (24) and Jothi (21), both working in a salt pan as daily wagers.
“Solairajan, hailing from the Parayar community, had fallen in love with Jothi, a Pallar girl. Since both were working in a salt pan, they decided to tie the knot. Since Jothi’s parents opposed the marriage, she left her home and got married to her lover in April. There was no opposition from the groom’s parents, who accepted the couple,” the police said.
Later in the evening, the Thoothukudi Police arrested Jothi’s father Alagar, on suspicion that he was involved in the murder of the duo, after Solairajan’s family filed a complaint.
The incident came to light when the couple wasn’t to be seen on Thursday morning and the door to their house remained closed. Neighbours, accompanied by Solairajan’s mother Muthumari, forced open the door.
“When we opened the door, we were shocked to see the couple lying in a pool of blood with deep cut injuries all over,” said Karpagam, Muthumari’s sister.
The police believe that the double murder was carried out by a group of people in the wee hours of Wednesday.
“After committing the crime, the group fled the spot. We have learned that the woman’s family was against the marriage; so, we are suspecting this to be a case of hate crime,” Arun Balagopalan, superintendent of police, Thoothukudi district, told the media after inspecting the site of the crime.
The bodies have been sent to Thoothukudi Government Medical College Hospital for autopsy.
Karpagam has also alleged that Jothi’s father threatened Solairajan. “They did not stop threatening them even after the marriage. Though we are Dalits, they were opposed to the marriage since we belong to a different sub-sect. Jothi was three months pregnant and the way in which they have been brutally murdered is horrible,” Karpagam said.
The case comes close on the heels of the murder of another inter-caste couple by the man’s brother in Mettupalayam near Coimbatore.
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