Kottayam: The Principle Session Court in Kottayam will deliver its verdict today in the sensational Kevin murder case. The murder had shocked the conscious of Kerala and the investigation and even the court proceedings were closely followed by everyone.
The case involves the murder of Kevin, a Dalit Christian, by his wife’s father and her brother with the help of other accomplices. Kevin’s wife, Neenu, belongs to the affluent Syrian Christian community and their relation was strongly condemned by her family.
Nevertheless, Neenu eloped with Kevin and they married privately. This enraged Neenu’s family who kidnapped Kevin a few days after their marriage from Kottayam. His dead body was recovered a day later from the Chaliyakara river in Punalur.
Neenu had gone to the police station with Kevin’s father to lodge a complaint of her husband’s kidnapping. However, the police SI, Shibu, did not take immediate action on her complaint. The police rose to action only after media began to cover the story of Neenu crying in front of the police station.
There is accusation that the police SI had taken bribe from Neenu’s family and tried to hush-up the case.
When Kerala waits for the verdict by the court, many are wondering if the court will consider this case as an honour killing. If it is an honour killing then the punishment meted out will be severe because the charges could attract the death penalty.
There are 12 accused including Neenu’s father, Chacko John and her brother, Sanu Chacko. There were 113 witnesses, 240 documents, and 55 evidences in the case. The case proceedings were over in just three months.
The government came under flak when it decided to retake SI Shibu into service after the officer was removed following his involvement in the case. The government quickly changed their decision after much public outcry.
The murder of Kevin brought out the reality of Dalit oppression and the inequality they suffer in the Christian community in Kerala. It exposed the casteist mentality of the Kerala psyche and raised many questions about the social systems still existing in the literate society of Kerala.