On the 7th of July 2017, 21 year old Kathiresan from Tamil Nadu in south east India was beaten and stabbed to death by 3 Hindu men following accusations that Kathiresan had broken a water pipe.
Kathiresan, a Dalit community activist and Dalit rights activist had, alongside others, fought to normalize inter caste marriages in India’s rigid caste hierarchy system in which places caste Hindu above Dalits. Kathiresan, who himself had married a woman of a different caste, had received threats and suffered multiple situations of harassment to himself and his family, from other Hindu castes in the region.
According to the Executive director of NGO Evidence, Kathir posits that the murder was inherently a caste based murder due to the alleged abuse Kathiresan has received due to his his inter-caste marriage.
Despite the arrest of the three perpetrators, no further action has been taken to stem the persistent caste based aggression and murders like Kathiresan’s, that is unmistakably a question of human rights and dignity.