Kollam/Kottayam: In a suspected act of honour killing, a newly wed youth from Kottayam, reportedly abducted by his wife’s family, was found dead in Kollam on Monday. The police arrested two more gang members — DYFI worker Niyaz, 23, and Riyaz, 26 — from Tamil Nadu. One person Ishan was already taken into custody.
Kevin P Joseph, 23, a resident of SH Mount, Kottayam, was allegedly abducted by an armed gang led by his wife’s brother. His body was found in Chaliyakkara stream, 20 km from Thenmala, in Kollam district.
His body was found lying with the face down. It is suspected that the body was dumped here after he was killed elsewhere. Footmarks were noticed on the banks of the stream.
Kevin’s body was later shifted to Kottayam medical college for postmortem. The ambulance carrying his body was blocked by protestors and demands were raised to see his body. Sources said that the postmortem would take place on Tuesday.
The Kerala Human Rights Commission said it was suspected to be a case of honour killing and ordered the State police chief to submit a report in three weeks if there was any negligence from the side of the police in investigating the case. National Minority commission also sought a detailed on the incidence from DGP of Kerala, district collector and superintendent of police of Kottayam and Kollam.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the incident as “unfortunate” and said it should not have happened.
Police in Kottayam and Thenmala in Kollam, from where the body was recovered, were investigating the case and all efforts were being made to nab the accused as early as possible, he said.
Besides, a special investigation team will also probe the crime, he added. Pinarayi also denied reports that police showed laxity in investigating the case initially.
Meanwhile, sub-inspector of Gandhinagar MS Shibu was suspended for failing to take action in time on receipt of a complaint with regard to the abduction of Kevin.
AIG Harishankar will be the new Kottayam SP as the incumbent Rafique has been shunted out as the row over police inaction escalated.
The incident has created a huge political storm in Kerala. BJP leader MT Ramesh slammed the LDF government for the crime by saying the real culprits in the case are the home ministry and the CPI(M). The biggest law and order issue the state faces today is posed by CPI(M) when it takes over ‘quotation’. The police didn’t pursue Kevin’s abductors as they were CPI(M) members, he alleged. Ramesh sought a judicial probe into the honour killing and asked chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to give up the home ministry.
The victim’s kin alleged that Kevin died due to police laxity as they refused to institute an investigation on the basis of his fiancee’s complaint on Sunday.
A case has been registered against 10 persons including his fiancee’s brother in connection with the incident.