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Death Penalty to one, life terms to 12 in honour killing of couple after 18 years

Chennai, Sept 24 (BPNS)

The Cuddalore district Special court for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes cases have sentenced death penalty to one person in a honour killing of S. Murugesan and D. Kannagi.

Justice S. Uthamaraja sentenced, Kannagi’s brother  D. Maruthupandian,49 with death, and a penalty of Rs 4.5 lakh was charged on him. The judge also sentenced three life sentences to Kannagi’s father C. Duraisamy, 68, her brother D. Rangasamy 45, relatives Kandavelu, Jothi, R. Mani, R. Dhanavel, V. Anjapuli, K. Ramadoss, and N. Chinnadurai. The court also ordered a penalty of Rs 4.5 lakh to each of them.

The Judge also sentenced former DSP Chellamuthu and Inspector Tamil Maran and imposed a penalty of Rs 1.15 lakh. He also ordered both the former cops to pay Rs 3 lakh to the family of Murugesan’s family.

Heavy police posse was present in the court premises fearing retaliatory attacks against the family of Murugesan or to other Dalit families in the area when the verdict came.

Judge while pronouncing the judgment said, “ The caste-related murders created a black mark for the society and Kannagi’s death should be the last in Tamil Nadu.”

The court discharged Murugesan’s relatives, S. Ayyasami and P. Gunasekharan. The court said that they were forcibly brought to the cremation ground and they did not have anything to do with the murder.

According to prosecution, Murugesan a Dalit fell in love with Kannagi, a Vanniyar community girl while they were studying at Annamalai university. The couple tied the knot on May 5, 2003, in Cuddalore sub-registrar office without informing their relatives.

They eloped and Kannagi stayed in Murugesan’s relative’s place at Moongilathuraipattu in the then Villupuram district which is now under the newly formed Kallikuruchi district.

Murugesan stayed with a relative’s place in  Cuddalore district. A massive search was being conducted in the meanwhile and the family of Kannagi found them and forcibly poured poison in the ear and mouth of the couple at a cremation ground in the village. There were allegations that many villagers were present when the brutal incident took place.

The deceased Murugesan’s father Samikannu had filed a case at Virudachalam police station. Inspector M. Chellamuthu who retired as DSP and Inspector P. Tamilmaran tried to suppress the case and charged a case with four accused from both families.

Murugesan’s father moved Madras High court for a CBI investigation in 2004 and it was granted. The CBI investigated the case and charged fifteen people including two relatives of Murugesan who were now discharged by the court citing that they did not have any role in the murder.