Hero’s Welcome For a Murder Suspect

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Photo: AM Shudhagar
Photo: AM Shudhagar

It looked like a scene straight out of a commercial potboiler. The prime accused in a sensational murder case had turned up at a police station in disguise, and that too by riding pillion on a bike. On arrival, he threw away his cap in the air and switched to his trademark white shirt and black trousers. The main suspect in the murder of a Dalit engineer, Gokulraj, Yuvaraj had made an unusual surrender in Namakkal in Western Tamil Nadu. The whole state was waiting anxiously for this very day.

At the entrance of the police station, Yuvaraj’s accomplices rejoiced upon the arrival of their leader. While the policemen were completing formalities, Yuvaraj flashed his thumb to his supporters acknowledging the rousing welcome he was getting.

After eluding the Tamil Nadu Police for months, the prime accused in the murder of Dalit engineer Gokulraj finally surrendered before the Crime Branch- Criminal Investigation Department ( CB-CID) in Namakkal on 11 October.

Yuvaraj is the president of caste-based outfit Dheeran Chinnamalai Peravai, a fringe outfit fanning caste hatred among Gounder community in the Kongu region of Tamil Nadu.

Yuvaraj, an emerging youth icon of Gounder community, attained notoriety in the region when he started a campaign against inter-caste marriages among youth, especially college students.

Members of his outfit often threatened couples, especially if they belonged to different castes, and urged people in the region to keep their ‘caste purity’ intact.

Gokulraj was murdered in June for reportedly being in love with a caste-Hindu girl belonging to the Kongu Vellalar Gounder community from his village in Tiruchengode.

As per eyewitness accounts, he was last seen with the girl at a Tiruchengode temple and was picked up at Yuvaraj’s behest.

Later, Gokulraj’s decapitated body was found on the railway track along with a suicide note stating love failure.

Although the police arrested five people in connection with the murder, the main accused, Yuvaraj, was absconding. In fact Yuvaraj from his hideout had released a couple of WhatsApp audios, stating his innocence and urging his supporters to be strong.

In one of the audios, he said that he was evading arrest to avoid a communal clash.

Yuvaraj even appeared on a popular Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai and said that he was innocent, had no involvement in the murder of Gokulraj and that the police were acting “unlawfully”.

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