Chennai: Widowed a year ago on the orders of her father, S Kausalya today welcomed the verdict of a Tamil Nadu court that sentenced him to death. V Sankar, the 23-year-old engineering student Kausalya married against the wishes of her family in July 2015, was killed barely eight months later by men hired by her father.
Her family, belonging to the rich and politically powerful Thevar community, had been vehemently opposed to her marriage with a Dalit man. The daylight murder at a crowded market in Tirupur had sent shockwaves across the country.
Today, as the court sentenced her father Chinnasamy and five others to death, Ms Kausalya said she welcomed the verdict, but would appeal against the acquittal of three. Among them is Ms Kausalya's mother Annalakshmi, uncle Pandidurai and relative Prasanna.
She said their acquittal has put her life in danger. "I fear threat for my life and Sankar's family taking into account three have been acquitted. We want police help," she said.
Ms Kausalya, who had disowned her parents after her husband's murder, lives with her in-laws in Udumulapet, near Coimbatore. She was given a government job. The family was given police protection for a while after the murder.
Last year in March, Shankar was hacked to death by a group of bike-borne men who had accosted the couple outside a crowded market in Tirupur, around 450 km from Chennai. They had slashed and hacked at him till he collapsed and then turned their attention to Ms Kausalya, who was with him. The woman, who was heavily injured, took weeks to recover. CCTV footage of the horrific attack had triggered huge outrage and protests were held across the state.
Two months after the murder, Ms Kausalya had even allegedly attempted suicide by swallowing cleaning powder. She recuperated after being rushed to a local hospital.