Gokul Raj, an engineering graduate, who was reportedly in love with a girl from a caste Hindu community, was murdered and his body was found abandoned on a railway track in Tiruchengode on June 24, 2015. The murder triggered widespread protests by Dalit outfits demanding stern action against such honour killings.
Curiously, the trial in the murder case took a twist as Swathi, who appeared before the court on September 10, this year, and gave a different version of the incident. Swathi said that neither she was with Gokularaj on the day of the murder and nor visited the temple with him. She claimed that she wasn’t aware about Gokulraj’s kidnap and murder.
As Swathi, who was the key witness in the case, turned hostile, CB-CID sleuths moved a petition before the Chief Judicial Magistrate KH Ilavalagan seeking action against her. The petition sought legal action against Swathi for contradicting her statements given to the police.
A senior police officer on anonymity said that the CCTV images recorded on Tiruchengode hills was a crucial evidence, however, Swathi denied that it wasn’t her in the video clip.
“She had even contradicted her statement given before the court. Swathi identified Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder Peravai founder Yuvaraj’s car driver Arun during the identification parade. But now claims she did not know him at all,” he said.
The murder of the Dalit youth, suspected to be a case of honour killing, sent shockwaves across the state. Following investigations, police arrested as many as 17 persons, including Yuvaraj, on charges of masterminding the murder.
Vishnupriya, the then Deputy SP of Tiruchengode division in Namakkal district, who was investigating the sensational murder case of Gokulraj, was found hanging in her quarters on September 18, 2015. She had allegedly taken the extreme step unable to withstand the pressure from senior police officials.
Thereafter, the state government transferred the Gokulraj murder and Vishnupriya cases to the CB-CID. Then, the case was transferred to the CBI following a court order. However, the CBI has submitted a report stating its plan to drop the case due to lack of sufficient evidence.