Yuvaraj, the prime accused in the alleged murder of a Dalit youth for talking to a girl from the Gounder community, surrendered at the CB-CID office in Namakkal Sunday. The 34-year-old, who is a leader of Gounder group Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder Peravai, surrendered in the presence of hundreds of his supporters around 10.30am. Three police teams had been looking for Yuvaraj for the past three months, but failed to nab him.
“He surrendered in style. Our officers had to receive him like a hero. We would forget this shame only if we can get him convicted,” said a senior police officer.
Sources said Yuvaraj spent Saturday night at a place near CB-CID office. He had already announced his plan to surrender and his supporters had gathered at the CB-CID office when he came to surrender.
Police said Yuvaraj evaded arrest for three months by using an iPhone without a SIM card. He purchased 40-odd data cards and used them for communication, said police. They added that Yuvaraj stayed alternatively in Salem, Gulbarga in Karnataka, Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh and Payyanur in Kerala. While absconding, he released at least six audio tapes of his speeches to the media claiming innocence. He gave interviews to Tamil channels and took part in a TV debate. In these interviews, he alleged the role of senior officers in the suicide of DSP Vishnupriya, who was probing the murder case.
Yuvaraj went into hiding in July after the alleged murder of 21-year-old Dalit youth Gokulraj for talking to a Gounder girl at a Tiruchengode temple. A purported conversation between the youth’s brother and the girl revealed that when Gokulraj was talking to her, some people came and seized their cellphones. They sent the girl home and put Gokulraj in a vehicle, she said. After three days, his severed body was found on rail tracks near Erode. Later, a suicide note and a video, with Gokulraj saying he committed suicide after failing in love, were circulated on social media.
Police said Yuvaraj, his driver Arun and aide Kumar took Gokulraj to a hillock in Sankaridurg and shot the video. He was also made to write the suicide note, said police. Then the trio allegedly took Gokulraj to rail tracks near Erode, where they slit his throat and left the body on the tracks. Later, they leaked the video on social media with the help of a Karur youth, a member of Yuvaraj’s outfit. The Karur youth, now in CB-CID custody, may become an approver in the case.
“He wanted to send a strong message to Dalit youths in relationships with Gounder girls,” said the official. Tiruchengode is a hub of rig operators and the Gounder OBC community is politically and socially powerful there. Yuvaraj, himself a rig operator, was known for organising events where he made Gounder students pledge that they wont marry in other communities.
He had also played a role in the protests against Tamil author Perumal Murugan for his alleged portrayal of Gounder women in a bad light in one of his novels. Yuvaraj also faces extortion and abduction cases.
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