PUDUKKOTTAI: Claiming that the death of his caste Hindu girlfriend was a honour killing, a Dalit man from a village near Gandharvakkottai in the district said that he and his family members were facing threats from the girl’s relatives.
Speaking to Express from an undisclosed location on Saturday, Sooriyamurthy (21) said that he had met Radhika, daughter of Rajendran and belonging to a caste Hindu family, five years ago and fallen in love.
However, on coming to know of the affair, Radhika’s father sent her to her maternal uncle’s place in Krishnapuram. She was later admitted to a school at Kalvirajan Viduthi in Thanjavur district. Despite this, Sooriyamurthy used to visit Radhika at Krishnapuram.
“When their efforts to stop us from meeting failed, Radhika’s parents moved her to Uranipuram. Unable to bear the separation, I tried to commit suicide in April this year. After recovering, I managed to meet her at Krishnapuram on May 12, and decided to get married,” Sooriyamurthy said.
However, while they were on their way to Thanjavur on a bike, they were intercepted by a highway patrol police team, which informed their parents.
“Radhika was taken away by her parents. That was the last I saw of her. Later, under pressure from Radhika’s family, my parents sent me to Tirupur,” Sooriyamurthy said.
Claiming that Radhika’s death was shrouded in mystery, Subramaniyan, Sooriyamurthy’s father, said, around midnight on May 18, they heard someone screaming at Radhika’s house. “After alerting a few relatives, we gathered at her house, only to see her lying dead on a cot. Her parents claimed that she had committed suicide. However, on seeing me, her relatives started abusing me stating that my family was responsible for her death,” he said.
No official was informed about the death and the body was cremated within an hour near an eucalyptus forest. “Even post-mortem was not carried out,” Subramaniyan said.
The very next day, Subramaniyan and family left the village fearing for their safety. Meanwhile, Sooriyamurthy learnt about Radhika’s death only on Friday after returning from Tirupur.
“Radhika once told me that her maternal uncle always used to threaten her with dire consequences if she kept in touch with me,” Sooriyamurthy said.
Meanwhile, Govindasamy, president of Periyakottai village panchayat, said, “No one in the village knows how Radhika died. Her parents went away after the news of her death spread. The circumstances are suspicious. They did not even apply for a death certificate.”
Senthil Maran, inspector of Gandharvakkottai police station, said that they could not investigate the case until a formal complaint was lodged.