Young couple killed by family in Mandya to ‘save honour’

  • Killers tie hands and legs, strangulate and throw bodies at Shivanasamudra; click photos
  • Victim sent SOS to employer at 2.15 am that stated “Anna kidnap Kanakapura”

Mandya:  In what has turned out to be a case of ‘honour killing,’ a young couple from Hosur in Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu has been found brutally murdered. The bodies of the couple, who went missing a few days ago, were recovered from the Cauvery River in Mandya district under the jurisdiction of Belakavadi Police Station.

On Nov.14, the Police found the body of a man floating in Cauvery River near Shivanasamudra. Two days later (on Friday), the body of a young woman surfaced at the same spot. The Police later established their identities as 22-year-old Nandish and 21-year-old Swathi who were found missing.  Nandish, an Adi Dravida belonged to Venkateshpuram village near Shoolakondapalli in Hosur, fell in love with Swathi who belonged to the Vanniyar caste. They married against the wishes of their parents and went missing from their houses three months ago.

Police said that the ‘honour killing,’ was allegedly orchestrated by Swathi’s father Srinivasan.

Love and marriage: Nandish completed his ITI course and was working in an engineering firm at Hosur when he fell in love with Swathi who was pursuing a course in a women’s college in Krishnagiri. In August, they married against the wishes of their parents. They registered their marriage in September and had moved out of Shoolakondapalli village and began their married life in Hosur town.

Go missing: However, the couple went missing on Nov.11 and Nandish’s brother Shankar lodged a complaint with Hosur Police. The complaint stated that the couple went to buy clothes and visit a relative in a village in Hosur but never returned home.

Meanwhile, the Mandya Police found the body of Nandish and Swathi and shared photos of the bodies with all Police Stations, including in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Investigations revealed that the couple was kidnapped from Hosur and murdered in Mandya.

Kamal Haasan meeting: The Police said that on Nov.10, the couple attended a public meeting where actor-politician Kamal Haasan was to speak. A distant relative of Swathi, who was also at the meeting, saw the couple and he called Swathi’s father Srinivasan who was in Hosur looking for the couple.

As soon as the event ended, the couple were surrounded by Srinivasan and others. After a long argument, they convinced the couple to go with them to a Police Station to sort the matter out. However, instead of a Police Station, the couple was driven to Shivanasamudra where Srinivasan and the others thrashed Nandish, accusing him of humiliating them in the society by marrying their ‘upper caste’ daughter.

Nandish even questioned Srinivasan why were they being taken on a different route (along Kanakapura) and for which Srinivasan replied that they were going to a Hanuman Temple at Shivanasamudra.

Bone-chilling crime: Police said that around 3 am on Nov.11, as Swathi watched, they tied Nandish’s hands and feet, strangulated him and threw him into the river. Swathi met the same fate minutes later with her hands and legs tied with her own dupatta. Not stopping at this, the killers clicked the photographs of the bone-chilling crime. The photographs shared by the Police narrate a tale of extreme violence against the couple during their final hours.

Accused arrested: Mandya Police reached Krishnagiri district as soon as they received the information and arrested Srinivasan. Yesterday, Swathi’s uncles Venkatesh, Ashwathappa, a relative Krishnan, cousin Venkatraj and driver Samyanathan who helped Srinivasan kill the couple were arrested.

Police said that Srinivasan has admitted to killing his daughter and her husband. Prima Facie it appears to be an ‘honour killing’ case. Srinivasan said that he was forced to get rid of the couple as there was opposition in the village to the inter-caste marriage.

SOS to employer: Nandish was an ardent follower of B.R. Ambedkar and would wear clothes with Ambedkar’s picture on them. This helped the Police identity the victim. Sometime back, Swathi had filed a Police complaint stating that if anything happened to her, her relatives should be held responsible. Apparently, Nandish sent an SOS to his employer at 2.15 am on Nov.11 that read: “Anna kidnap Kanakapura.”

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