Take the law into your own hands, and the law will come for you. That is the message authorities in India are sending after the sentencing of six people to die for the murder of a young couple who were brutally hacked to death in the name of Shariah Law's honor killing.
Honor killings exist in Shariah Law as a way to punish those who bring shame or dishonor upon a family, often the victims are murdered by members of their own family. A total of 11 people were arrested in connection with the slaying of Shankar, a Dalit youth, and his wife Kausalya.
The case is believed to be the first such conviction in a case of murder perpetrated due to caste-based discrimination. A trial court awarded the death penalty to six persons, including one of the victim's father for conspiring to kill her boyfriend. Of the remaining five suspects, one was given a life sentence, another was given five years in prison, and three were acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove their involvement.
The six individuals sentenced to death are P. Jagadeesan (31), M. Manikandan (25), P. Selvakumar (25), P. Kalaithamizhvanan (24), and M. Madan alias Michael (25). All six offenders hail from the Dindigul district. Before the judge announced the verdict, they asked why the prosecution was seeking capital punishment.
Special Public Prosecutor U. Sankaranarayanan cited four other similar killings where the court recommended the death penalty.
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