Two days after a 22-year-old man was abducted, and was found dead on Monday, allegedly murdered by his newly married wife’s family members, two key accused — the woman’s father Chacko John and brother Shanu Chacko — surrendered at a police station in Kannur, north Kerala, on Tuesday.
The two were returning from Bengaluru to a hideout somewhere in north Kerala, according to police.
Kottayam SP Hari Sankar told The Indian Express that the father and brother of victim Kevin Joseph’s wife, Neenu (20), were taken into custody from Kannur on Tuesday afternoon. He said preliminary probe indicates Neenu’s family members abducted Kevin to make her return home. This came after Neenu refused to go with her parents on Friday, even after negotiations at Kottayam’s Gandhi Nagar police station — the young couple got married that day.
Earlier on Tuesday, Chacko and Shanu moved an anticipatory bail plea in Kerala High Court claiming they had not committed any offence, PTI reported. In their plea, likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday, the two said they are willing to cooperate in the probe.
PTI quoted IG (Ernakulam range) Vijay Sakhare as saying that Neenu’s father had a role in the crime.
According to the police, Kevin was kidnapped from a relative’s house in Kottayam Saturday night by a gang at Shanu’s behest. Kevin’s body was recovered from a river at Thenmala, about 100 km from Kottayam, Monday morning.
On Tuesday, opposition Congress, BJP and Dalit groups organised protests and called a hartal in Kottayam district. Kevin’s body was handed over to his family, and it was buried later.
Neenu told the media that she will continue to live at Kevin’s house. Kevin’s father Joseph said he will take care of her.
A senior police officer said Neenu’s family opposed the wedding since Kevin came from a Dalit Christian family. Kevin, who had an electrical engineering diploma, had worked in Dubai for a brief period, the officer said, and the Chackos come from a financially sound Christian family.
“Chacko himself had married a Muslim woman but the family was opposed to their daughter marrying a Dalit Christian,” the officer said. “After making several attempts to have the wedding cancelled, involving Kevin’s parents and the police as well, and bring Neenu back, they made a plan to kidnap Kevin. They hoped that Neenu will return after that. But she was firm in her decision.”