Kerala Dalit boy loses life for marrying upper caste Christian girl

Neenu & Kevin

A Dalit Christian boy has been killed in Kerala three days after he married a girl belonging to an upper caste Christian family, allegedly by the girl’s relatives.

The body of Kevin was found in a stream today morning, 24 hours after the boy was abducted from his relatives’ house by a group of around 10 people on Sunday morning.

The body betrayed signs of extreme torture including cuts and tears, and both eyes were found to be missing.

At least two of the gang have been identified as workers of the CPI(M)’s youth wing, DYFI. One, Ishan, has already been arrested while the second, Niyaz, is absconding.

UPDATE: DYFI clarified that both members of the organization who have been named in the episode are the girl’s relatives.

A case of murder against ten people, including the brother of Neenu, Kevin’s wife, has been registered by the police.

This is the second honor killing in the state in two months. In March, 21-year-old Athira, who belonged to the OBC Ezhava caste, died after being stabbed in her heart by her father for trying to get married to a Dalit boy.

The latest case too is similar as the boy belonged to Cherama caste. The caste, supposed to be descended from the former ruling tribe of Kerala called Cheras, are included in the Dalit category.

Neenu, on the other hand, is from a Syrian Catholic background. Syrian Christians are considered to be the upper castes among Christians in Kerala.

Besides caste, there was also a big divide in terms of money and power between the two families, local media reported.

The girl, who had just completed her post graduation course in a college near Kottayam, is reported to have been in love with Kevin for three years.

On the 24th, she called her parents and said she had got married to Kevin, and did not attend further calls.

This led her parents to file a complaint of missing person the next day.

The police called Neenu and her in laws to the police station and tried to persuade her to return to her parents, but she refused.

On Sunday, Kevin was abducted. Upon this, Neenu approached Gandhi Nagar police station in Kottayam and sought to register a complaint that her husband had been abducted by a group of people led by her brother.

However, the police did not register the complaint. The matter found its way into local media within hours, leading to intervention from police headquarters.

The Sub-Inspector in charge of the Gandhi Nagar police station has been suspended, while the Superintendent of Police in charge of Kottayam, Muhammad Rafiq, has been transferred.

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