Karnataka man kills daughter over affair with Dalit youth, lover ends life on railway track

Father killed the girl, who was adamant on marrying the Dalit boy. The boy later flung himself in front of a speeding train.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Jun 29, 2023 | 8:50 PM Updated Jun 29, 2023 | 8:50 PM

Victims Keerthi and Gangadhar

Keerthi’s love for Gangadhar had the rhythmic but wild vibrance of the tamate which her father did not approve.

Fearing her affair with a youth from a Scheduled Caste (SC) community would bring dishonour to the family, her father, Krishnamurthy, allegedly smothered her to death at their residence at Bodaygurki village in Karnataka’s Kolar district on Tuesday, 27 June.

On learning about her death, Gangadhar, a tamate (a handheld percussion instrument) artiste, threw himself in front of a speeding train even as his brother looked on.

The lovers couldn’t unite in life. But their last rites were conducted one after the other at the same crematorium, sources said.

Later, the Kamasamudra police in Kolar Gold Fields arrested Krishnamurthy. The railway police have registered a case of unnatural death.

The incident has once again highlighted the need for a legislation against the so-called honour killings in the country.

Also read: Father arrested for killing, cremating 17-year-old Karnataka girl

Deadly affair

Keerthi, a 20-year-old second-year BCom student, and Gangadhar, 23, lived in the same neighbourhood. They had been in a relationship for a year.

Krishnamurthy, 42, came to know of his daughter’s affair and tried to convince her against seeing Gangadhar, a daily-wage worker. Keerthi, however, remained firm, and it reportedly led to a quarrel between the father and daughter on Monday, 25 June.

In a fit of rage the next morning, he allegedly killed her.

His two other children and mother were at home when he fatally smothered the young woman between 6.30 am and 7 am. His wife had then gone out to get milk.

“Krishnamurthy worked as a plumber and was respected in the village as a gentleman who took good care of his family. He has a son and two daughters. Keerthi was the eldest,” a senior police officer told South First.

“He had not beaten his kids even once and the two daughters were his favourites. Krishnamurthy not only put his three kids in good schools but also took good care of his spouse and his parents. He was constructing a new house close to their rented accommodation,” he added.

Also read: 400 ‘dishonour crimes’ in five years — and counting — in TN

Krishnamurthy confesses to wife

Keerthi belonged to the Golla community included in the Other Backward Classes. Gangadhar belonged to the Bhovi community.

“Krishnamurthy has a minor disorder in one hand and his other hand is very strong. He used his strong hand to smother and strangle Keerthi. She died before her mother returned,” the police said.

Krishnamurthy confessed his crime to his wife, and the news spread in the village. On learning about the incident, the Kamasamudra police reached the scene and shifted Keerthi’s body to the district hospital for a postmortem.

Soon after her cremation, Krishnamurthy was arrested and produced before a magistrate, who remanded him judicial custody.

Meanwhile, Gangadhar who was living three doors away from Keerthi, had also learned about the incident.

His elder brother immediately took him on his bike and drove him to the village outskirts, suspecting that the girl’s family would implicate Gangadhar.

While on the outskirts, Gangadhar asked his brother to stop the bike so that he could go to a shop nearby.

Instead of going to the shop, he went to the nearby railway track and flung himself before a speeding train.

He died instantly.