A 23-year-old man, who went missing from Telangana’s Bhongir on May 2, weeks after he married an upper caste woman, was murdered the same day, the police have found. Amboji Naresh’s father-in-law, T Srinivas Reddy, and a relative allegedly killed him the same day, burnt the body and threw his ashes in river. Reddy, a former TDP leader, allegedly burnt Naresh’s body just 15 metres from where he cremated his daughter Swati, who committed suicide on May 16.
Police said Naresh belonged to a backward class family and Reddy was unwilling to accept his daughter’s marriage with him. Officials said that the post-mortem of Swati revealed that she was one-month pregnant. After two days of interrogation, Reddy led police to the scene in Lingarajpalli, where he had allegedly killed Naresh and burnt his body using tyres and wood. Reddy’s nephew, Nalla Sathi, has been arrested as well for the murder.
Deputy police commissioner M Venkateshwara Rao said that the two took him to a deserted area in Reddy’s fields. “While Sathi was talking to Naresh, Srinivas Reddy took out an iron rod… and hit Naresh on the back of his head. He died on the spot,’’ he said. “The duo then set the body on fire using dried wood and bushes. But the body was only partially burnt. They then drove to Atmakur where they purchased five litres of petrol and brought some tyres with them and set the body on fire again until it turned to ashes.’’
Rao said Sathi took Naresh’s mobile before going to a relative’s house on the outskirts of Hyderabad. “All this happened on the intervening night of May 2 and 3. The next day, Sathi destroyed Naresh’s mobile, which police initially thought gave the last location he was at. They then went back to the fields in the village and removed the ashes and all evidence in two gunny bags and dumped them in the Musi river, four-km away.’’
Reddy told the police that he was angry with Naresh because his daughter had suffered a lot while living in Mumbai with him from March 25 to May 1. He said Naresh was unemployed and they did not have money to buy ration. Reddy, a rich farmer who owns several acres of land, maintained a calm demeanour as police questioned him a couple of times over Naresh’s whereabouts. He maintained that he loved his daughter and had accepted her marriage. The police now suspect his role in driving Swati to suicide.
Naresh and Swati had eloped and got married in Mumbai on March 25 after falling in love while studying at a college in Nalgonda district. The couple was forced to elope since she belonged to an upper caste and her father would have not approved of their relationship. They lived in a slum in Mumbai until they ran out of money. The couple sought help from their families after they were unable to pay rent and had no money for food. Reddy requested Swati to return home and assured her that the family had accepted the marriage. On May 2, Reddy took Swati home while Naresh was supposed to go to his grandparents’ house two kilometres away. Naresh’s father, Amboji Venkatiah, had lodged a missing complaint on May 11 after he was unable to contact him.