A day after the body of Kerala ‘Dalit Christian’ man Kevin Joseph was found from a canal in Kollam in Kerala, the police have finally arrested the father and brother of Kevin’s wife Neenu. According to reports, the duo was trying to flee to Bengaluru.
#Kerala Police arrests Neenu’s father & brother in connection with her husband Kevin Joseph’s death, his body was found in a canal in Thenmala in Kollam yesterday. Neenu and Kevin got married in court on May 25 as the girl’s family had allegedly objected to their marriage.
— ANI (@ANI) May 29, 2018
The Kerala police have been facing severe criticism with their handling of the case as Kevin’s family members alleged that even after their continuous pleading all through the day and till late night on Sunday, after Kevin was dragged by armed men, the personnel at Gandhinagar police station at Kottayam did not take any necessary action. Instead, Kevin’s family were reportedly told that the police were busy preparing for CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s scheduled visit to the district.
Neenu’s brother Shanu Chacko, who was the main accused of the crime, and her father Chacko were arrested yesterday from Iritty in Kannur. Out of the total 14 accused, the police have so far arrested 5. Kevin’s body was reportedly buried in Kottayam on Tuesday evening where mourners gathered continued their protests over Kerala Police’s apathy and inaction shown after Kevin’s family reported his kidnapping. The police reportedly lathi charged several times to control the mourners at the funeral.
It was reported that the police personnel at the Gandhi Nagar station kept ignoring Kevin’s family after they went to report his kidnapping. The police neither registered a kidnapping case nor issued a lookout alert for the Innova vehicle in which Kevin was taken by armed men from a relative’s house. It is being alleged that Kevin could have been saved had the police taken prompt action.
Kevin was from a ‘Dalit Christian’ family and worked as an electrician. Neenu is reportedly from an upper caste affluent Christian family. Neenu’s family, especially her father and brother were vehemently opposed to their relationship. It is reported that Neenu’s mother is a Muslim. After a 3 year long relationship, Neenu and Kevin had married and registered their wedding at the sub registrar’s office on May 25th. Kevin was killed 2 days later.
After locals and media outlets raised voices against the police inaction, Gandhi Nagar station Sub Inspector MS Shibu and another ASI were suspended. SP Mohammad Rafique had been reportedly transferred. The Kerala Human Rights Commission has stated that it is a case of honour killing and asked the state police to submit a report within 3 weeks on whether there was any negligence of duty on part of the police staff.