Kottayam: The brutal murder of Kevin Joseph, a Dalit hailing from Kottayam last year, is a case of honour killing as per the charge sheet submitted by Kerala Police at Kottayam Sessions Court.
The fourteen accused involved in the murder has been charged with 10 counts including murder. The police questioned 179 witnesses and submitted 176 documents pertaining to the case.
The prosecution alleges that Kevin was killed after being thrown into the river. However, the defendants claim that as there is no evidence for it and so the count of murder must be removed from the charge sheet. The trial will begin in April.
Kevin Joseph who was a mechanic and Dalit Christian fell in love with Neenu, who comes from a more affluent Latin Catholic family. The duo married against the wishes of Neenu’s family.
A day after their wedding, Kevin was abducted from his house in Kottayam by an armed gang. His body was found the next day floating in the Challiyekkara River in Kollam on May 27, 2018.
Special Prosecutor C. S. Ajayan says that Kevin’s murder is a case of honour killing as he was Dalit Christian and Neenu’s father a Latin Catholic. He said that Kevin’s death is not by accidental drowning.
There was widespread public outrage against the police who were slow to respond to Neenu’s missing person complaint at the Police Station. The Chief Minister who handles the Home Ministry also came under severe criticism. People asked why the communist government, who are vocal in Dalit atrocities in the North Indian States, have failed to get justice for a Dalit in the state they are ruling.