A special court in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore on Friday sentenced a woman victim’s brother to death and 12 others, including her father and other relatives as well as two policemen, to life imprisonment in a 2003 ‘honour’ killing case.
Convicting the 13 accused, while acquitting two, of the murder of inter-caste couple S. Murugesan and D. Kannagi, Special Judge for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes cases, S. Uthamaraja, sentenced Kannagi’s brother D. Maruthupandian, 49, to death besides slapping a penalty of Rs 4.5 lakh.
“The caste-related murders created a black mark on the society and Kannagi’s death should be the last in Tamil Nadu,” said the judge, as he imposed the life sentences to Kannagi’s father C. Duraisamy, 68, her brother D. Rangasamy, 45, relatives Kandavelu, Jothi, R. Mani, R. Dhanavel, V. Anjapuli, K. Ramadoss, G. Venkatesan, and N. Chinnadurai. The court also fined each of them Rs 4.5 lakh.
Then Inspector, M. Sellamuthu, and then Sub-Inspector, K.P. Tamilmaran, were also sentenced to life imprisonment for trying to hush up the case. They also have to pay Rs 3 lakh each to the victim’s kin.
The court discharged Murugesan’s relatives, S. Ayyasami and P. Gunasekharan, saying that they were forcibly brought to the cremation ground and they did not have anything to do with the murder.
A heavy police posse was present in the court premises fearing retaliatory attacks against the family of Murugesan or to other Dalit families in the area after the verdict came.