The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by various political parties and Dalit organisations in Kottayam district to protest the alleged honour killing of a 23-year-old man, affected normal life today.
Shops, markets, and business establishments remained closed in many parts of the district while private bus terminus in various towns wore a deserted look in the hartal called by parties including Congress, BJP and various Dalit outfits.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operated its services to long distances.
Kevin P Joseph, a Dalit Christian, was allegedly abducted and killed by a gang of criminals engaged by his fiancees’ relatives.
His body was found dead in a river in Kollam district yesterday.
His fiancee alleged laxity on the part of police when she approached the Gandhinagar police station near here with a missing complaint.
The inconsolable woman told reporters here today that she did not get justice from the police.
The police did not move even after she appealed to the Sub Inspector that Kevin’s life was in danger and he should be rescued.
Bursting into tears, she said she was Kevin’s wife and would stay in his residence.
Relatives of Kevin have alleged that he was tortured and killed by the gang engaged by his fiancee’s brother, two days after they filed a joint application for marriage registration at a sub-registrar office near here.
Meanwhile, autopsy of Kevin was conducted at the Government Medical College Hospital here.
The funeral will be held this evening.
Kevin and his relative Aneesh were abducted early Sunday from the latter’s residence by the gang that arrived in three vehicles.
The gang later left Aneesh by the roadside after torturing him brutally, police said.
He is currently admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital here.
A case has been registered against 10 persons including his fiancee’s brother in connection with the incident.
Kerala Human Rights Commission has 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.
Sub-Inspector M S Shibu and Grade ASI Sunnymon of the Gandhinagar police station were yesterday suspended by Ernakulam Range IG Vijay Sahkare for laxity.
Kottayam District Superintendent of Police V M Mohammed Rafique has been transferred following the incident.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has described the incident as “unfortunate” and said it should not have happened.