New Delhi: For the murder of a Kerala man – who married a woman from outside his community – ten people were on Thursday convicted by a court in Kottayam.
The principal sessions court observed that the sensational murder of 23-year-old Dalit Christian Kevin P. Joseph in 2018, involving his wife’s relatives, was a case of honour killing.
Those convicted included Joseph’s brother-in-law. The court acquitted four persons, including Joseph’s father-in-law, citing lack of evidence.
Principal sessions Judge C.S. Jayachandran will hear on August 24 the arguments on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to the convicts.
All the 10 accused have been found guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder) and 364A (kidnapping for ransom), special public prosecutor C.S. Ajayan told reporters. There were 14 accused in the case.
Sanu, Joseph’s brother-in-law, was the prime accused in the case, while father-in-law Chacko was the fifth accused.
The death of Joseph, who was abducted along with a relative from Mannanam in the district, had triggered widespread protests in the state.
The victim’s kin had alleged that he died due to police laxity as they refused to conduct an investigation on the basis of his wife’s complaint.
In the early hours of May 27, 2018, Joseph was reportedly dragged out of the house and taken in a car along with one of his relatives, later allowed to leave. Joseph’s relative was the first to alert his parents and wife about the incident.
Joseph’s body was found on May 28 last year in a stream in Chaliyakkara in Kollam district.
The couple had married at a registrar’s office in Ettumanoor against the wishes of her family.
During the trial which began three months ago, Joseph’s family and witnesses had alleged that it was a case of honour killing.
Deposing before the court, Joseph’s wife Neenu had said her father Chacko had objected to her relationship as he belonged to Dalit Christian community.
(With inputs from PTI)