Father of bride killed on wedding eve in Kerala; four held

Hours after wedding eve festivities, a funeral pyre was erected in a home near Kallambalam here following the tragic killing of the bride's father by four young men.
Father of bride killed on wedding eve in Kerala; four held

Thiruvananthapuram | Hours after wedding eve festivities, a funeral pyre was erected in a home near Kallambalam here following the tragic killing of the bride's father by four young men.

Raju (61) was allegedly killed by Jishnu, his brother Jijin and their two friends on Tuesday night within the compound of his house after the pre-wedding celebrations got over and all the guests had left.

The family of Jishnu and Jijin, who are neighbours of the victim, had come with a marriage proposal for Raju's daughter a couple of years ago, but he had rejected the same owing to the alleged criminal antecedents of the duo, a close relative of the victim said.

As the decorations for the marriage, which was to take place at Sivagiri here at 11.10 AM, were being removed, the victim's cousin brother told media on Wednesday that the four men came with the intention to create a problem after all the guests had left.

"They first came and attacked the bride and when her mother tried to stop them, she too was assaulted. That is when my brother intervened to stop them, but they brutally assaulted him and hit him on the head with a hand shovel.

"They also hit on the head one of our relatives who lives nearby and came to the aid of the victim. He has six-seven stitches on the head," the victim's cousin said.

He also said that the four had followed the vehicle in which the victim was taken to the hospital and on finding out he had died, they escaped from there. "They were later caught by locals of the area," he said.

Police, later in the day, said that the accused admitted to having attacked and beating up Raju and his family members.

"The exact motive and whether it was pre-planned will be ascertained during further questioning of the accused. One of the accused claims he was close to the bride, but due to her family being against the same, her marriage was fixed with someone else.

"So he was unhappy and came to the victim's home to create trouble. It started with heated arguments and then led to an assault on the victim and his family members," District Police Chief (Rural) D Shilpa told reporters after inspecting the crime scene and meeting the victim's family.

State Education Minister V Sivankutty, who also met the victim's family, told reporters that it was a "shocking" incident and every possible action in accordance with the law will be taken against the culprits.

He also hinted that drug use, allegedly by the accused, may also be a factor

which contributed to the assault on Raju.

After the victim's body was handed over to the family in the afternoon, it was placed on a cot in front of the house for relatives, friends and neighbours to pay their last respects.

Instead of people gathering up for wedding related celebrations at the house, hundreds queued up to pay their last respects to the deceased. Thereafter, the body was cremated according to Hindu rites within the compound of the house.

Earlier in the day, a female relative of the victim said that the bride was a MSc graduate and while the accused was not even a graduate.

She also said that the accused, after rejection of the proposal, had threatened the victim's family.

Raju was hit on the head with a hand shovel and had collapsed at the site and on being taken to the hospital was declared dead on arrival by doctors, relatives told reporters.

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