Life sentence to all 10 accused in dalit Christian's honor killing

Published 28 August 2019  |  
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Ten men in Kerala sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a 23-year-old dalit Christian who wanted to marry a upper caste Christian woman.

Kevin P Joseph and Neenu Chacko, 21, began dating in 2016. Chacko was pursuing her masters in geology and Joseph was an electrician. On May 24, 2018, they applied for civil marriage and two days later Joseph was abducted and killed by Sanu Chacko, prospective bride's brother and one among the convicted men, who returned from Gulf to participate in the crime. Joseph's body was found in a stream four days later.

Neenu Chacko heard the details of killing and testified against her relatives in the court. She told media that this is a fight for Kevin.

Judges in Kerala court described the crime as honor killing and the accused were given life sentence considering their age and the fact that it was their first offence.

Although Joseph's father told media that he preferred death sentence for all the 10 accused, he was satisfied with the life imprisonment judgement.

Compared to other states in India, dalits suffer less discrimination and social ostracism in Kerala. But inter-caste marriage still remains as a forbidden act for many.

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