TIRUPUR: For Kausalya, who lost her husband to mindless honour killing on an Udumalaipet street 22 months ago, a trial court’s landmark verdict on the gruesome incident brought back confidence in social justice and the institution of democracy in India.
Both Kausalya, a young caste Hindu, and her husband V Shankar, a Dalit, were attacked on March 13 last year with sickles at the Udumalai bus stand in full public view. While Shankar died on the spot, Kausalya managed to survive and fought a pitched battle against her own parents demanding justice.
In the end, her dad P Chinnasamy was awarded capital punishment by Tirupur Principal District Judge Alamelu Natarajan while her mother Annalakshmi was let off.
In all, eight persons were pronounced guilty. Six were awarded the noose, two of them double death sentences. Annalakshmi was among three who were acquitted.
“I sincerely thank the judiciary. I’m happy about it. But at the same time since three of the accused have been let off, I fear my life and for Shankar’s family. We need police protection. We will definitely go on appeal to get the acquittals quashed,” Gowsalya said.
Gowsalya asserted that all three who were acquitted were very much involved in the plot. “My mother had warned that we would be bumped off; my uncle was a key conspirator, and Prasanna Kumar has been let off though he passed information about us to the killers,” she said.
Activists and women’s groups hailed it as a judgment with far-reaching implications to curb honour killing. “This will be a warning to those who dare to indulge in honour crimes in future,” said rights activist Kathir.