Wife kept under house arrest by kin, alleges Dalit man in Kerala

A 28-year-old Dalit man has complained that his wife was forcibly being kept under "house arrest" by her relatives for marrying a person from a lower caste.

Shaji, a native of Pattambi in Palakkad district, said he married a woman from Ezhava community in Malappuram on May 2, defying stiff opposition by her kin.

Though her relatives had registered a police complaint saying she was missing, the woman had told the law enforcers she wanted to live with her husband.

Based on her statement, police had let her go with him last month, Shaji told a television channel.

"But, soon after that, her relatives forcibly took her to her parents' house and she has been kept under house arrest there since then," he said.

He also alleged even though he had approached the police seeking release of his wife, the response was not positive.

When the issue triggered a controversy, the Kerala Women's Commission Sunday registered a case suo moto against the women's relatives.

"We have registered the case based on media reports. We will meet the woman and record her statement, only after which we will know the exact details," Commission member Shiji Sivaji told PTI.

"If the complaint is proved true, we will initiate strict legal measures against the relatives," she said.

The government also sought a report from the Palakkad Superintendent of Police regarding the incident.

A senior police official told PTI that Shaji had filed a complaint before a court in Palakkad to produce his wife.

"We have got information that the woman would be produced in court Monday. Though the police had tried to trace her, we cannot find her," he said.

Based on the man's complaint, a case had been registered against the woman's relatives under various sections of IPC and SC/ST Act, the official added.