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INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE TO COUPLE FOR MURDERING DALIT WOMAN

January 10, 2017: A sessions court in Tirunelveli has awarded death sentence to a couple for murdering a Dalit woman on May 13 last year as her younger brother eloped with their daughter.
After Viswanathan, a railway employee from Vannarpet in Palayamkottai, eloped with an Engineering student Kaveri, a Caste Hindu girl from Mangalakudiyiruppu in Thatchanallur in May last, the girl’s father P. Sankaranarayanan (48) visited Viswanathan’s house on several occasions and threatened the youth’s kin to handover his daughter. Since they were not aware of the whereabouts of Mr. Viswanathan and Ms. Kaveri, they could not help Sankaranarayanan in rescuing his daughter.
Agitated over this, Sankaranarayanan and his wife Chellammal (42) went to the house of Mr. Viswanathan on May 13 last and picked up a heated argument with the youth’s sister Kalpana (25), who was at home along with her 18-month-old son. At one point, Sankaranarayanan hacked Kalpana to death on the spot and escaped.
When a group of Dalit youths blocked vehicular traffic on the North Bypass Road immediately after the murder demanding the arrest of the couple, the police pacified the protesting crowd and nabbed Sankaranarayanan and Chellammal the same night.
As the case came-up for hearing, B. Rajaprabhakaran, Special Public Prosecutor, who cited seven verdicts of the Supreme Court and produced 17 prosecution witnesses to strengthen his case, termed the murder as “honour killing” and prayed for capital punishment to the accused.
Second Additional Sessions and Special Court Judge Abdul Khader awarded death sentence to Sankaranarayanan and Chellammal on January 10. (Sources: thehindu.com, 10/01/2017)

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