Mandya police have arrested two more persons, including the father-in-law of an 18-year-old newly-wed woman burnt to death on April 24.
The young Scheduled Tribe woman, Shilpa, from Mysore had married Abhijith, who belonged to a a Scheduled Caste, in January this year against the wishes of her husband’s parents.
The arrest of Shilpa’s father-in-law Billaiah and his brother Puttaswamy comes soon after the arrest of her mother-in-law Nagamma and aunt Pramila. Shilpa’s in-laws and relatives murdered her on the pretext of a tour of temples in Mandya.
Police have called the killing “pre-meditated” as Shilpa was led into believing that she had been accepted by her in-laws before being set ablaze in a field in Mandya in the early hours of April 24.
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Shilpa, who managed to give a statement to the police before her death at a Mandya hospital, implicated her in-laws and their relatives for attempting to kill her.
Following his arrest on Sunday, the father-in-law Billaiah told the police that he and his family killed Shilpa as she was from a lower community and her presence in the family would pose a threat to the marriage of his daughter.
Shilpa had eloped and married Abhijith, 20, on January 1, 2014. She was the daughter of Murugesh, a daily-wage earner, and Mangalamma, residents of Mysore.
Abhijith had been working in an automobile workshop in Mysore when he met Shilpa, an employee at a factory near the workshop, and fell in love. The families of both Abhijith and Shilpa had opposed the marriage and the couple initially lived separately in Mysore.
On April 22, Shilpa had told her own family that she was going on a tour of temples in south Karnataka with her in-laws and their relatives.
According to a statement by Shilpa prior to her death last week, the group were on their way to Mysore around 5 am when her in-laws and their relatives tried to kill her. The vehicle they were traveling in was stopped at an isolated area near Uppanahalli village under the pretext of a toilet break. When Shilpa got down from the vehicle, Puttaswamy came from behind with a rope and tried to strangulate her but she managed to escape and run.
She was then chased by the accused and stabbed in her neck with a knife but she managed to run some more distance before falling on the ground. The accused persons then allegedly poured petrol on her and set her ablaze before fleeing from the scene.
The police have not found any involvement of Shilpa’s husband in the murder.