Prominent Dalit, human and civil rights activists have called for a ban on the use of the term `honour killing’ when Dalits or lower caste persons are killed for marrying a person of upper caste. Telangana balladeer Gaddar and writer Prof Kancha Ilaiah said that murders of Dalits are caste hatred killings. “Where is the honour in killing someone? Why are caste-based murders being labelled as honour killings? Dalits are being killed for their caste so these are caste hatred killings and they should be called that,’’ said Ilaiah.
Ilaiah said that caste-based discrimination and killings should become an election issue in Telangana. He visited the family of P Pranay Kumar, the Dalit man who was hacked to death in Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district of Telangana, for marrying an upper caste woman. Hundreds of activists and members of SC, ST, BC and human rights organisations from across Telangana continued to visit Pranay’s home Miryalaguda to console his pregnant wife Amrutha Varshini, and his family.
Security personnel had to be posted outside the house in Mutthireddykunta, as emotions ran high and members of Dalit organisations raised slogans and called for unity to fight against caste prejudice. “Caste feeling among the upper castes is rising and becoming extreme. A lower caste man marrying an upper caste woman is seen as a crime punishable by death and upper caste communities not only support the killing of the lower caste man for so-called honour but also condone and justify it. There can be no honour in killing a human being. They kill because they hate the lower castes,’’ S Venkatesh Naik of the Bahujan Left Front (BLF) said, while protesting outside Pranay’s house.
Amrutha Varshini and her in-laws met the Nalgonda district Collector Gaurav Uppal and SPA V Ranganath today and requested that a fast-track court should be set up to take up the murder case of Pranay. “We told them that if Maruthi Rao or his brother Shravan Rao are released on bail, they will use all their influence and money to try and derail the case so it is necessary to bring them to justice quickly. So we requested that the case should be taken up in a fast-track court,’’ said P Balaswami, Pranay’s father. The Collector handed over ex-gratia cheque of Rs 8 lakhs to Amrutha, and has assured that she will be given a job and a house under the state government’s scheme.