The Principal Sessions Court, Kottayam in Kerala has convicted ten people for the honour killing of Kevin P Joseph, a Dalit Christian man, reports The Hindu. Among the convicts is Syanu Chacko, brother of Neenu Chacko, who had married Joseph against opposition from her family.
Along with the charge of murder, the ten accused have also been found guilty of the charge of kidnapping for ransom. The girl’s father, however, has been acquitted.
Neenu’s statement before the court had given credence to the contention that it was a caste-related honour killing; she had said that her family members were opposed to her marrying Joseph because he came from a lower caste.
On 27 May, two days after the couple had filed their marriage application, an armed gang led by Syanu came in three vehicles and forcibly took away Kevin and Anish, his relative. The abductors thrashed Anish severely and left him on the way.
The next day the body of Kevin was found in a stream in Chaliyakkara in Kollam district. The post-mortem conducted at the Kottayam Medical College hospital had found 16 cuts and bruises on Kevin’s body.
The case triggered widespread protests in the state due to the manner in which it was handled, leading to subsequent progress in proceedings.