A court in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district on Friday sentenced a man to death and 12 others including two police officers to life imprisonment in a 2003 dishonour killing case in which a young couple was killed by the woman’s family following their inter-caste marriage.
The case relates to the love marriage between 22-year-old D Kannagi from a dominant community and S Murugesan, 25, from a scheduled caste 18 years ago, in May 2003. Fearing repercussions, the couple lived separately. However, the woman’s family, who did not accept their wedding, tricked the couple into visiting them a month later. They murdered the couple, administering poison through their nostrils and ears before burning their bodies. Reports said the couple was also tortured in front of the villagers in Kuppanatham, about 230 km from Chennai before being killed. D Kannagi’s father was the village chief at the time.
The police covered up the incident and did not register a case filed by S Murugesan’s family. The investigation went to the CBI following a public outcry in 2004. Cases were filed against 15 people and 81 were listed as witnesses. As many as 36 of them turned hostile by the end of it. The legal fight which began for S Murugesan’s family in 2003, went on for nearly two decades.
On Friday, the special court hearing the case awarded the death sentence to Marudhupandian, the woman’s brother. Twelve others, including her father Duraiswami, the then Inspector Chellamuthu (now retired) and Sub Inspector Tamilmaran (now Inspector) have been awarded life sentences.