A special court in Madurai today sentenced ten people who were convicted in a dishonour killing case to life imprisonment. The prime accused, Yuvaraj, has been awarded a life term on three counts and five others have been handed a double life term. Yuvaraj heads Dheeran Chinnamalai Peravai - a fringe outfit that champions the cause of the Kongu Vellalar, a backward caste community.
21-year-old Gokulraj, who worked as an engineer and belongs to the Dalit community, was killed in 2015 for his relationship with an upper-caste woman. He was found dead on railway tracks in the Namakkal district hours after he was seen speaking to an upper-caste girl.
The key witness, the young woman with who the victim was in a relationship with, turned hostile during the trial but CCTV footage of the incident offered clinching evidence.
The police had found CCTV footage in which Gokulraj was seen being dragged away from a temple by a group of men while he was speaking to his friend.
Five accused in the case were acquitted last week.
The police in Namakkal district had registered a murder case and arrested six people soon after the crime as the post mortem report suggested that Gokulraj was dead before he was placed on the tracks.
The police had earlier filed a case of kidnapping and suspicious death on the basis of a note in his pocket, but the engineer's family alleged that he was killed over his relationship with a girl from an upper caste, and refused to take his body until a murder case was registered.