Kottayam: Uproar and protests echoed in Kerala Assembly today as the opposition were demanding the case of the young man who was found dead after being kidnapped allegedly by the family members of the woman he lover, to be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Kerala Assembly was adjourned today after Congress lawmakers rushed to the well of the House, raised anti-government slogans and demanded CBI investigation into Kevin Joseph's murder.
Kevin, a Dalit Christian, was killed by a gang of criminals allegedly engaged by his fiancee's family. His body was found in a river in Kollam district late last month.
Kevin’s relatives have alleged he was tortured and killed by the gang two days after Joseph and the woman filed a joint application for marriage registration at a sub-registrar office near Kottayam.
The father, brother and some relatives of the woman have been arrested based on a complaint by the woman and Kevin's relative who was also kidnapped but managed to escape. They also alleged police inaction as "they were busy with the chief minister's visit to the district".
"The probe should be handed over to the CBI and the sub-inspector should be made a co-accused of the conspiracy against Kevin," former Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said on the floor of the House, moving an adjournment motion for a detailed discussion on this issue, which was later declined.
"My family was against the marriage because of the difference in financial status of the two families, not any caste differences. The police did not act when we approached them," the woman said.
At least four policemen have been suspended and a senior police official was transferred for police lapses.
Leaked audio records of a cop with the accused after the kidnapping have put the government on a back foot leading to immediate suspensions.
"This is a cold blooded murder. It involves two Democratic Youth Federation of India, CPI(M)'s youth wing, workers. There has been a repeated failure of the police system in Kerala, under the Left government. But the Chief Minister has taken no steps to tackle this. And now the Chief Minister wants the same police to probe this brutal incident? We demand a CBI probe," opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said.
Responding to the allegations, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "There have been lapses on the part of the police. Such a dishonour killing is unacceptable in Kerala. There is no reason to give a political colour to this crime. Which party do Chacko and Rehena and their son, Shanu Chacko, the woman's brother and one of the main accused, belong to? There are all Congress activists. So do we say that the Congress committed this crime? The accused in this case will be seen as an accused, irrespective of their political connections and strict action will be taken against everyone, including police officials."