NAMAKKAL: Investigations have been brought to light that the Dalit youth, Gokulraj, was strangulated and stabbed on the neck before his body was left on the railway track by a gang of four led by Yuvaraj, the founder of Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder Peravai, a fringe caste outfit.
During interrogations, two of the main accused -- Sankar, a resident of Konganapuram in Salem district, and Kumar Aka Sivakumar, who was taken into police custody after surrendering before a court in Srivaikundam -- were stated to have confessed to the police how the gang had finished off the young Dalit engineer hailing from Omalur in Salem.
Yuvaraj, accompanied by Arun, Namakkal district president of the outfit, and Kumar, Salem district president, abducted Gokulraj who was spotted with a caste Hindu girl at Sri Arthanareewarar Temple atop the hillock in Thiruchengode on June 23. They separated the girl and sent her back to her house with the help some other acquaintances, who were later nabbed by police, before taking him blindfolded to the foot hills, a police official said.
Narrating the incidents leading to the murder, he said, “Later, they were joined by Shankar, Arulsenthil and Selvakumar when Gokulraj was taken to Sankagiri in Yuvaraj’s car.”
They shifted Gokulraj to a jeep whose number plates were duplicated before taking him to the Orukamalai hill temple. There he was forced to write a suicide note and recorded his voice stating that he was going to end his life as he was frustrated over love and betraying girls”.
Both the key accused stated that Gokulraj was boarded on the jeep and was taken to a secluded place along the railway track near SPB Colony in Pallipalayam.
While Arulsenthil and Selvakumar were guarding the jeep, Yuvaraj strangulated Gokulraj with a string of cloth while Kumar, Arun and Sankar overpowered him by holding his limbs together before taking him to the railway track, the official stated. Subsequently, Yuvaraj, Sivakumar and Arun stabbed the young Dalit’s neck one after another while Sankar was keeping vigil in the place. Ensuring the young engineer was dead, they fled the scene and went on hiding.
The incident came to light only after a rag picker sighted the body on June 24 and informed a railway worker. Although the police initially presumed Gokulraj could have died after being run over by a train, the postmortem report stated that he died of multiple injuries, strongly indicating murder.
The police altered the case to murder (Section 302 of IPC) from 174 suspicious death under CrPC following the postmortem report.
The murder of Gokulraj evoked widespread outrage and condemnation from certain political parties and Dalit organisations and human rights groups. They called for enacting a special law to strongly deal with such honour killing perpetrated by chauvinistic caste-groups.