Yuvraj

Yuvaraj, at the Madurai district court, was recently, on 5th March, 2022, sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder (in June, 2015)  of Gokulraj ,  for being friends with a young woman of a ‘higher’ (OBC) caste, whose ‘honor’ was sought to be protected by murdering the dalit-born engineering graduate. The convict Yuvaraj, a leader of a brazen caste mafia of Tamilnadu, has no remorse, as can be seen in this photo soon after the conviction. He perhaps is an emerging politician of Tamilnadu,with Kongunadu as his base. 

This is part-1 of a current series on the subject.

Two articles on the subject were published earlier. The present conviction is related to a case mentioned in part-1 of an earlier series, see below.

‘Honour killings’ in the land of ‘self-respect movement’ (Part-1), 06/12/2021

https://countercurrents.org/2021/12/honour-killings-in-the-land-of-self-respect-movement-part-1/

Social Justice in words, Brazen Casteism And Slavery in Practice , in Tamil Nadu (Part-2), 07/01/2022

https://countercurrents.org/2022/01/social-justice-in-words-brazen-casteism-and-slavery-in-practice-in-tamil-nadu/

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Ten of the 17 accused in the murder case of Dalit youth Gokulraj have been convicted, and five acquitted,  by the Madurai Special Sessions court on March 5, 2022. This includes S Yuvaraj, President of Dheeran Chinnamalai Peravai, a Kongu-Vellalar caste-based outfit. The accused who are convicted include: Yuvaraj, Arun, Kumar,  Sankar, Arul Vasantham, Selvakumar, Yuvaraj’s  brother Thangadurai, Sathish kumar, Raghu alias Sridhar and Ranjith.

Five of the 17 arrested as accused in the case – Shankar, Arul Senthil, Selvakumar, Thangadurai and Suresh – were acquitted. During the course of the case, one person died while another accused is still absconding.

The accused were booked under sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 364 (kidnap) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 109 (punishment of abetment), 384 (extortion), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) r/w 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 465 (forgery), 302 (murder), 201 (tampering with evidence), 212 (harbouring offender), 216 (harbouring offender who escaped from custody) of the Indian Penal Code and section 3(2) (v) of Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act.

Twenty-one-year-old Gokulraj, who had graduated from the KSR College of Engineering in Tiruchengode, in 2014, was kidnapped from the Tiruchengode Ardhanareeswarar temple on June 23, 2015 by a group of men while he was with a female friend Swathi. The men (posing as policemen as per some reports) forcibly took Gokulraj away saying that Yuvaraj wanted to ‘speak’ to him. The next day, Gokulraj’s headless body was found by the railway tracks at Pallipalayam The brutal murder made a mark in Tamil Nadu as yet another innocent life was lost to casteism and  caste politics that are reigning the state.

A month after the murder, in July, Sankar and Kumar, who were arrested for their role in the murder, had confessed to the crime. Before killing Gokulraj, the accused coerced him to record a video and write a suicide note, police had said. The accused shared the same on social media, to change the narrative, which however the present conviction rejected. But the convicts are appealing against the verdict.

 Gokulraj reportedly had said: ‘killing of a dalit is no big deal, and some in the police are making a fuss about it.’ He is backed by resources; he could then go up to Supreme Court for bail, and now again decided to approach the top Courts to contest the verdict.

(For more on the issue, visit the leading web magazine, thenewsminute.com,which gave extensive and sustained coverage to this and allied matters. The Big media,  DMK and ADMK control a huge network, largely ignored the related stories.)

The High Court as well as the Supreme Court, it must be recalled, had acquitted all the culprits, in the notorious Keelavenmani massacre of 1968 in which 42 rural poor dalits were burnt to death by landlords, despite policemen being alerted in advance and were on duty. In fact, many of the assailants had arrived in the Dalit colony by a police vehicle.  It was during DMK’s Annadurai regime, and 4-5 decades of litigation was all under the rule of Dravidian parties, facts that are  sought to be conveniently  omitted in reports and reviews of the historic  case : The police and legal system in the State have been under casteists’ influence, as recalled by the recent film, Jai Bhim, and as shown by a low conviction rate under such cases.

Democratic Rights Activist Anand Teltumbde, now still imprisoned,  had charged that the Tamilnadu governments,  which  swear by Periyar,  were in practice  not merely callous, but being complicit in the matter.  

In present judgment, quoted by V. Geetha, Tamilnadu’s social historian, activist, and co-author of a book, ‘Towards a Non Brahmin Millennium: From Iyothee Thass to Periyar’, Judge T. Sampath kumar noted:

“The deceased Gokulraj was a young engineering graduate and the youngest son of his widowed mother Chitra.  He must have definitely nurtured dreams of reaching heights in life. Also, Chitra must have also hoped to live happily under his care and protection. However, those dreams were crushed by the accused. Only because of the arrogance that they are a dominant caste and a mere doubt that a youngster (who studied engineering) from the oppressed caste was in a relationship with a girl from their caste, he was murdered in a horrific way.”

The Judge went on to add that Gokulraj’s caste massacre is another instance of ‘bloodied history’ by the dominant caste system”.

Citing that Dr Ambedkar had said that “if caste has to be broken, inter- caste marriage is the only solution”, the judge quoted a part of Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s statement mentioned in a Supreme Court judgment of 2020:

“In the words of Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s ‘Annihilation of Caste’: I am convinced that the real remedy is inter­marriage. Fusion of blood can alone create the feeling of being kith and kin, and unless this feeling of kinship, of being kindred, becomes paramount, the separatist feeling, the feeling of being aliens created by caste will not vanish. Where society is already well ­knit by other ties, marriage is an ordinary incident of life. But where society is cut asunder, marriage as a binding force becomes a matter of urgent necessity. The real remedy for breaking caste is intermarriage. Nothing else will serve as the solvent of caste.”

But alas, several decades after the book  and Indian Republic’s  new Constitution arrived, ‘honor killings’ opposing such marriages go rampant, even in Periyarist Tamilnadu, where a political party, the PMK, openly calls for opposing and resisting inter-caste marriages, particularly those involving dalits; and that party has been an ally of Periyarist Dravidian  ruling class parties of Tamilnadu  for decades!

Yuvaraj, who is Namakkal district president of Dheeran Chinnamalai Peravai, a caste-based outfit associated with the Kongu Vellalar community, was known to oppose inter-caste marriages particularly with dalits. He had been organising events where he would urge students of his community to take vows to maintain endogamy. He was the kingpin in the anti-inter-caste love affair intelligence gathering network, and went absconding following Gokulraj’s murder.

While evading the arrest, he was also using WhatsApp messages to incite passions in his community. Yuvaraj was also a part of a moral policing campaign:

He was leading aEducated Caste Hindu Youth Campaign Against Inter Caste Marriages,” as captioned by The Hindu, July, 16, 2012. He had set up a forum for that, developed an intelligence-gathering system for such marriages, and addressed meetings in colleges in Kongunadu region.

‘Honor killings’ in Tamilnadu have a distinction: elsewhere, as in Jatlands, the culprits kill persons including their own kith and kin for daring to love or marry a person of another caste. But here almost always, only the person of the ‘lower’ caste, more so of dalits, is killed, to save the ‘honor’ of the upper caste, which is more often an OBC. In this case the dalit youngman was killed, and the ‘honor’ of  the girl  and her OBC caste was saved; she was made to deny any relationship with him.

Elsewhere, sometimes when a Muslim man elopes with a Hindu girl, it is called a case of Love Jihad by Hindutva zealots. In Tamilnadu, there is an open call by casteists, PMK in particular, to oppose and resist such marriages, particularly where a ‘dalit man lures and elopes with our (OBC) girl’.   

Even while concerted attempts were made by various forces including police authorities, a Fact Finding Committee of  Intellectual Circle for Dalit Actions (ICDA), comprising of several academics, had toured on July 4 and 5, 2015, various places and went into the case, and brought out many things.

The ICDA team included C. Lakshmanan, Assistant Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Stalin Rajangam, Dalit writer based in Madurai, J. Balasubramaniam, Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism and Science Communication, Madurai Kamaraj University; Anbu Selvam, independent researcher, Puducherry, A. Jaganathan, PhD scholar, Guru Nanak Study Centre, Madurai Kamaraj University and Karthikeyan Damodaran, Researcher, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh.

ICDA says there is an open campaign by a caste mafia group led by Yuvaraj:

“ The role of prime accused Yuvaraj, has been downplayed; enough evidence proves that he was involved in moral policing, and was also part of a campaign against inter-caste marriages to prevent girls from his community of Kongu Vellala Gounders marrying boys of other castes, particularly Dalits. This helped him gain access to his community students in various colleges within the Kongu region (see: Educated Caste Hindu Youth Campaign Against Inter Caste Marriages, Namakkal, July, 16, 2012, The Hindu). By doing so, he built a network and solicited information about relationships if any between dalit boys and Kongu Vellala girls. As a person who reflected the caste majoritarian psyche in this region, Yuvaraj gained acceptance as a caste mafia and someone who could keep their caste pride intact…

“ All these details about Yuvaraj are very much available in the public domain; despite this the Tiruchengode police have been investigating the matter in a sloppy way by detaching this information and past history about Yuvaraj. By not taking into cognisance his background and facts to investigate this heinous crime may set a dangerous precedent…”

 

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Casteist politics of Dravidian parties who join hands with BJP

He was (then) not of BJP but with forces like PMK. Currently ADMK, PMK and BJP are in alliance. Thanks to the alliance, the BJP won four seats in the last assembly elections while the gullible believed the BJP cannot enter Periyar’s land.  

Earlier it was DMK that had such alliance (as during the one led by Vajpayee). Last year, DMK’s  Chief Minister Stalin had called, in the legislature, to observe Periyar’s birth day as ‘social justice day’, and that was supported by the four BJP MLAs who were elected thanks to an alliance with ADMK. Stalin had invited Modi and Amit Shah to mourn the death of his father Karunanidhi, and they indeed did so, though could not come. Instead, top BJP leader Nitin Gadkari was sent to Tamilnadu; he hailed him as a great leader of India and – hold your breath- they share some ideas ‘ideologically’; this he said in the presence of Stalin.

The BJP, part of the double-tongued alliance led by ADMK, had indeed removed some tweets against Periyar; and the ADMK Govt had in 2020,  arrested , under anti-Goonda Act, some atheist and dalit youths for offending Hindu sentiments (they allegedly insulted God Kanda Swamy in a video); BJP was then carrying on a Vetrivel Velaayudham yatra, that was facilitated by ADMK with funds and men, despite formal restrictions by police. Film actor Khushbu, an avowed Periyarist turned BJP leader, demanded an apology from Thol Tirumavalan, MP of Dalit-based VCK party, for  distorting Manu dharma, and insulting Hindu women!

The caste mafias in the state have the temerity to damn the film Jaibhim, and former Justice Chandru, of Madras High Court, who championed the cause of the oppressed. One leader of the casteist Vanniar Sangham announced a reward of Rs. One lakh for physically assaulting those associated with the film, which they demanded should be banned.

It had come to light that 300 Dalits were murdered in Tamil Nadu between 2016 and 2020, very few of them reported, and only in 13 cases were sentences pronounced by Courts. We do not know how many of them are pending in Appeals.

All this caste frenzy in Tamilnadu!    

caste frenzy tamil nadu

The caste frenzy in tamilnadu can be felt in this photo: Yuvaraj, the leader of the caste outfit Dheeran Chinnamalai Peravai, came back to Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, not having returned after serving a jail term, but having given the slip to the police for 109 days while whipping caste-passions and gathering support through WhatsApp messages. (Photo courtesy: The News Minute. Based on TNM, some web magazines carried stories. He was ‘shown’ by police as absconding, even as he had appeared in TV interviews. 

Eventually, on October 11, Yuvaraj surrendered himself before the CB-CID office, causing much embarrassment to the state police, and a senior police officer had expressed the anguish by saying, “He surrendered in style. Our officers had to receive him like a hero. We would forget this shame only if we can get him convicted,” reported the Indian Express.

  See below thequint.com report 12 Oct 2015:

He had surrendered (in 2015)  at the CB-CID office in Namakkal town. Yuvaraj has been caught by a CCTV camera at the Tiruchengode temple, where Gokulraj was last seen, allegedly being taken to Yuvaraj. Yuvaraj says he has nothing to do with the murder. But on Sunday, his ‘jaathi kaara pasanga’, fellow caste-men as they say in Tamil, cheered him on, hugged him, shouted slogans as he returned. He arrived in disguise, wearing a red cap, t-shirt and lungi. Before he ‘surrendered’ to the police, with cameras clicking away and TV channels beaming the visuals live, he changed into a white shirt and pants. The stark similarties in image perhaps show why Yuvaraj is what he is today.

The son of the Kongu soil was back to save the caste, and nothing can be more shameful for Tamil Nadu’s police and its polity.

The reputation of the Tamil Nadu police, who prides themselves on being the ‘Scotland Yard’ of India, is in tatters. Not only did Yuvaraj evade the police for 109 days, but he chided them while being chased. He released statements and audio messages warning them, mocking them and accusing them of targeting him. He gave interviews to popular Tamil news channels. Having magnified his voice and becoming a popular leader from being a small-time caste operative, he surrendered on his own terms. He chose the time and location. The police were left waiting for him.

There have been several allegations against the police, with many asking if the police were complicit in letting him escape.”

What’s even more disconcerting is that the political atmosphere in the state has allowed Yuvaraj to become a popular leader. Activists and politicians in the opposition are raising valid questions. Why was a huge crowd allowed to gather at the CB-CID office, giving him a hero’s welcome? Is the present dispensation in Tamil Nadu waiting to watch if he can be used for their politics? Why have the two main Dravidian parties remained silent on the issue beyond the minimal condemnations? Are they waiting to see if he can be their next political ally in the Kongu region, ahead of the 2016 elections?

Will the Dravidian establishment allow him to be the next PMK in the state?

The attack on author Perumal Murugan, Gokulraj’s murder, DSP Vishnupriya’s suicide and Yuvaraj’s dramatic surrender could all lead up to an election result favouring one or two political parties, and then we might only be left with knowing who to blame.

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/caste-leader-yuvarajs-surrender-an-embarrassment-for-tn-police

Meanwhile, on September 18, 2015, the DSP who was investigating the case, R Vishnupriya, (27) died of suicide. In an eight-page suicide note, allegedly left behind by Vishnupriya, it was stated that she was under pressure and that she was investigating a sensitive case. She was the IO-Investigating officer in this case.

The suicide of the dalit-born, 27-year old single woman, was sought to be shown as due to “personal reasons.” It was contested by her father, who was a policeman himself, one of her friends, a fellow police official, and others. But enquiries were conducted, repeated, to establish the official narrative.

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Part-2 will deal with the mysterious death of dalit-born  DSP Vishnupriya, shown and ‘established’ as suicide. 

Ramakrishnan was a media person who contributed articles, published in countercurrents.org  

Read earlier articles on this themehere :

‘Honour killings’ in the land of ‘self-respect movement’ (Part-1), 06/12/2021

https://countercurrents.org/2021/12/honour-killings-in-the-land-of-self-respect-movement-part-1/

Social Justice in words, Brazen Casteism And Slavery in Practice , in Tamil Nadu (Part-2), 07/01/2022

https://countercurrents.org/2022/01/social-justice-in-words-brazen-casteism-and-slavery-in-practice-in-tamil-nadu/

 


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2 Comments

  1. Satya Vara Prasad Arundhati says:

    Several issuesraised by author with candour are worth discussing one session per each issue.

  2. S. N. Murthy Ch says:

    Thanks to the author and CC for this kind of important information which we could not see in the so-called main stream media, particularly in Telugu media.