LUCKNOW: According to the police sources, a 14 year old low caste “untouchable” was strangled in northern India because he shared his first name with a higher caste youth.
Neeraj Kumar, was allegedly kidnapped and strangled by a group of boys led by 23 year old Neeraj Chaudhary, whose family resented the idea of the low caste boy having the same first name.
The victim's father, Ram Sumer, a vegetable seller, said when his son was admitted to primary school, the alleged killer's father “called to advise me to change my son's name because it was the same as his son's”. Sumer said he told the father, an affluent landlord, it was too late to change the name because it had been entered in school records.
The higher caste family was further incensed when Sumer named another son Dheeraj, the same as Chaudhary's other boy. Sumer stated that, “So many names are common to so many people but Chaudhary disliked the idea because I belong to the lowest caste.”
The victim was found dead in a forest near Raghupur village, some 200 kilometers (120 miles) from Uttar Pradesh state capital Lucknow.
Brij Lal, police chief of India's most populous state, said the victim was killed over “caste discrimination” last month but the murder only came to light a few days ago.
Chaudhary has denied his family is responsible for the crime and has accused police of framing his sons.