New Delhi: A Kerala court on Tuesday awarded double life imprisonment to all ten convicts in the case of honour killing of a Dalit Christian youth, Kevin P Joseph, by his wife Neenu’s upper-caste Christian family in Kottayam last year.
The ten were convicted on August 22. Judge C Jayachandran convicted them under murder (Section 302), kidnapping (Section 364 A), criminal conspiracy (Section 120 B), house-trespass (Section 449), voluntarily causing hurt (Section 321), wrongful confinement (Section 342) and criminal intimidation (Section 506-2) while he acquitted Neenu’s father Chacko and three others in the case for want of evidence.
Kottayam SP Harishankar was quoted as telling media that the police were ‘satisfied’ with the verdict. “When there are multiple accused, proving the charge of conspiracy is also a difficult task,” he reportedly said.
On May 24, 2018, Kevin had married 20-year-old Neenu Chacko at a civil ceremony in Kottayam but the latter’s family was against the alliance. Two days later, Kevin and his friend Aneesh were abducted from his house by a gang. Neenu’s family, particularly her brother Syanu Chacko, was allegedly behind the crime.
While Aneesh was released by the gang later, Kevin’s body was fished out of a canal in Kollam district. Autopsy reports confirmed that he was made to drown in the canal. The local police also allegedly refused to file a complaint repeated pleas by Neenu and Kevin’s family.
During the trial, Neenu had told the court that her father had threatened her and Kevin over their relationship. Since the murder, Neenu, a student, has stayed with Kevin’s family.