Social differences led to Kevin’s abduction, witness tells court

Kevin
Kevin P Joseph, a Dalit Christian, was abducted and killed by a gang of criminals allegedly engaged by his fiancee Neenu's relatives. (L) Kevin's family
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Kottayam: The trial over the sensational honour killing of Kottayam youth Kevin P Joseph is on. During the proceedings, a witness claimed that he was abducted by his fiancee's family as they were dead against a matrimonial alliance as he was from a lower social group. Kevin was a Dalit Christian youth. The Kottayam Principal Sessions Court, where the trail is on, is considering the death as honour killing.

A witness, Santosh, told court on Tuesday that he heard Sanu Chacko saying that Kevin was abducted because he belonged to a lower caste.

Sanu is the brother of Neenu, who was in love with Kevin who was murdered last year after his abduction from his home town.

Santosh is the brother of Anish who was also abducted along with Kevin by a gang led by Sanu.

Recalling that fateful day, Santosh said he had reached Anish’s house in Mannanam along with a relative, Benny, after he heard of the duo's abduction. Another relative Sibi was also summoned. The police were informed of the issue from Sibi’s phone.

Ettumanoor Police was intimated first. They passed on the message to Gandhinagar Police. They did not respond for a long time. That was when he went to the station along with Sibi, said Santosh.

Relatives were pressured to hand over Neenu in exchange for Kevin and Anish. Santosh reached the hostel at Ammancheri where Neenu was put up, but was denied nod by hostel authorities. The then Gandhinagar ASI TM Biju and other policemen soon reached Anish’s place.

Santosh and relatives had then told the cops that they suspected the hand of Neenu’s brother and his gang.

The ASI called Neenu’s father Chacko John on phone and sought the release of Kevin and Anish. Santosh then dialled Anish, but his phone was picked up by Sanu, who asked Santosh to bring Neenu. He threatened that they will not see Anish again if Neenu was not returned, the court was told.

Santosh also identified accused number two Niyas in court.

Sibi concurred with Santosh’s statements on the ASI calling Sanu and the death threat to Anish. Sibi also identified his voice from his phone conversation with ASI Biju. He said police did not give them justice in this case.

One hotel manager, Roy Janardanan, positively identified the accused in court. Statements of 11 witnesses have been registered so far.

Neenu’s statement too will be registered. The trial will continue tomorrow..

Kevin P Joseph, a 23-year-old Dalit Christian youth, was brutally killed on May 27 2018 by a gang led by the brother of his 20-year-old fiancee, Neenu. He had earned the wrath of Neenu's family for going ahead with plans to marry Neenu who belonged to a well-off family despite objection by her parents and brother.

The Kevin murder trial which began in February is expected to be completed in six months as it comes under the category of honour killing.

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