COIMBATORE: Tension was palpable on the premises of the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) after the 16-year-old Dalit victim of honour killing attempt succumbed to injuries on Saturday. While her relatives attempted to prevent doctors from conducting the postmortem, the impasse ended after the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) vice chairman L Murugan intervened.
The girl had sustained grievous injuries when the brother of her lover attacked them near Mettupalayam on Tuesday last. While her lover Kanagaraj (22) died on the spot, she was grievously injured and admitted to the CMCH. The prime suspect, Vinoth Kumar, was arrested from Mettupalayam on Wednesday. Superintendent of Police (SP) Sujit Kumar said that the attempt-to-murder case slapped on Vinoth was altered to murder. “Three others persons – Ayyappan, Kandhavel and Chinnaraj – have been arrested over their suspected involvement in the murders.”
Meanwhile, the relatives of the Dalit girl demanded that the government enact a special legislation to crackdown on honour killings. After they refused to allow officials to conduct the autopsy, L Murugan, in the presence of Collector K Rajamani, held talks with them. Even as the discussions were on, hundreds of activists turned up at the hospital to express solidarity.
Based on Murugan’s assurances, the relatives relented. Besides, the official handed over an ex gratia solatium of `4.15 lakh to the family of the girl. The SP said that the case would be treated as a double murder as there was no provision for the term honour killing in the penal code.
Meanwhile, L Murugan told reporters that besides the monetary assistance, the family would be offered a government job. “The Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have enough provisions to tackle discrimination. However, if any special act is deemed necessary, the Commission will recommend it to the government,” he added.