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“That pregnant Dalit teen was gang-raped and brutally murdered by dominant caste men. When we tried to meet the family members of the victim as human rights defenders, police officials stopped us,” Asirvatham from human rights organisation People’s Watch said. He was addressing a gathering of more than 100 students at the Madras School of Social Work on ‘Legal Barriers and Challenges in Interventions’ on Thursday, March 21. There was pin-drop silence in the auditorium as he detailed the ordeal that the victim went through before she was murdered and disposed of in a well.

Asirvatham’s talk was part of a one-day conference titled Confronting Honour Killing – A Multifaceted Approach, in which a group of activists from across the state discussed the increasing trend of caste killing and what protective measures can be taken. All the participants sought a separate act to prevent caste killings in Tamil Nadu.

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