In a suspected case of honour killing, a 28-year old man in Hyderabad was allegedly abducted and killed for marrying a woman from a different caste. According to the Cyberabad police, the relatives of Avanthi Reddy (23) conspired to kill her husband Hemanth Kumar and hired killers to carry out the act.
The Police have arrested 14 people out of which 12 are members of Avanthi’s family, including her parents Donthireddy Laxma Reddy(54), and Donthireddy Archana(44).
The other arrested family members are Guduru Yugender Reddy(45), the main accused, Guduru Vijender Reddy, Ardham Ranjith Reddy, Ardham Rakesh Reddy, Keesari Rajitha, Yellu Santhosh Reddy, Kaila Sandeep Reddy, Ardham Spandana, Yellu Swapna, and Guduru Sandeep Reddy.
Their driver Shaik Saheb Pathan, and one Minpur Buchi Yadav, who was hired by Yugender Reddy, the main accused, to execute their plan are also under arrest. All the 14 accused persons are being remanded in judicial custody, the police said. Four persons are still at large and police are on the lookout for them.
Based on a complaint from Avanthi, a case has been registered against 18 accused persons under sections 120B(1) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 365 (kidnap), 452 (house-trespass), 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) r/w section 34 of the Indian Penal Code at the Gachibowli police station.
DCP(Madhapur), M Venkateshwarlu said all the accused family members conspired to kill Hemanth as he had married Avanthi Reddy against their wishes.
“As per their plan, all the accused persons went to the house of the deceased in three cars and forcibly kidnapped Avanthi and Hemanth Kumar. On their way, Avanthi got down and escaped, whereas Hemanth Kumar was taken away by Guduru Yugender Reddy, Minpur Buchi Yadav, Krishna, and Md Pasha. They murdered Hemanth by strangulation at about 7.30 pm on the outskirts of Kistaigudem village in Sangareddy district,” the DCP said.
Kumar, who belonged to the Vysya community, was an interior designer. His wife, Avanthi, of the higher caste Reddy, is a B.Tech. Both lived in the same locality in Chandangar and knew each other for eight years. According to the Cyberabad police, the two got married on June 10 this year at the Sub Registrar Office in Quthbullapur against their parents’ wishes and knowledge.
The couple and their parents were counselled at Gachibowli police station and all parties had agreed to the marriage. Avanthi chose to stay with Hemanth at a rented place in Gachibowli’s TNGO Colony and not with her parents or the in-laws.
Police said Avanthi’s family abducted the couple on Thursday. Police later received a Dial 100 call from Avanthi’s in-laws and reached the spot. They took Avanthi’s family members into custody.
“Around 3.30 am, Yugender’s cell tower location was traced to Shameerpet. Police detained him, and, during interrogation, he confessed to killing Hemanth by strangulation. He had dumped the body near Sangareddy crossroads,” the DCP further told the media.
Hemanth’s body was found abandoned by the national highway in the nearby Sangareddy district.
Avanthi said around 10 people had arrived at their home on Thursday and forced the couple in their car saying they wanted them to meet Avanthi’s parents. “They forced us into their car and when the vehicle took a left towards the Outer Ring Road, instead of a right towards my parents’ home, we knew something was wrong. We did not feel safe and jumped out of the car. Hemanth was roughed up and taken away in one car. I ran for my life,” she said, adding that police arrived 40 minutes later based on information given by her in-laws. However, Yugender Reddy could not be traced as his mobile phone was switched off and Hemanth did not have his phone.
Avanthi has maintained that Hemanth would have been alive had the police responded promptly. The DCP said the police had not got any complaint from the couple about any kind of threat from anybody.
After Hemanth’s parents Murali Krishna and Laxmi Rani, and Avanthi, identified the body, it was sent to Osmania General Hospital mortuary for the postmortem examination.
“I did not expect this. I am yet to come to terms with what has happened. Whatever has happened to me will haunt me for the rest of my life… Whoever is involved should be severely punished so that no other girl meets my fate,” Avanthi told reporters.
An inconsolable Laxmi Rani, Hemanth’s mother, said: “What kind of a father makes her own daughter a widow… They (Avanthi’s parents) have no right to be called parents. Not once in the last four months did they talk to her over the phone.”
In a similar case of honour killing, a 23-year-old Pranay Kumar was murdered in front of his pregnant wife Amrutha at Miryalaguda town on September 15, 2018, allegedly by a man hired by her father who did not approve of her marriage outside their caste. Earlier this year, Amrutha’s father Maruthi Rao, who was out on bail, was found hanging inside a room at Arya Vysya Bhavan in Hyderabad.
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