A day after a 30-year-old Dalit man was stabbed to death in front of his pregnant wife in Miryalaguda town of Nalgonda district in Telangana, two people, including the man’s father-in-law, were arrested on Saturday. Police said it was a case of honour killing and the woman’s father and uncle had hired a killer to eliminate her husband.
P Pranay Kumar was hacked to death in front of his pregnant wife, Amrita Varshini, who belongs to an upper caste, on Friday. Pranay’s funeral procession was taken out on Sunday afternoon after his brother Vijay arrived from Ukraine where he is an MBBS student. Hundreds of people participated in the funeral. Miryalaguda town was tense and heavy security was deployed to maintain law and order. Police also cordoned off the house of Maruthi Rao, the woman’s father, anticipating an attack there. “The investigation is still on. We will share details later,” Nalgonda District SP A V Rangnath said.
On Saturday, Miyalaguda Police took Amrita’s father T Maruthi Rao and uncle T Shravan Rao into custody for allegedly plotting Pranay’s murder and paying Rs 10 lakh to a hitman to kill him.
Pranay and Amrita got married in January this year against the wishes of her family. They knew each other since 2009 when they met while they were in class 10. While Pranay went on to study engineering, she did a course in fashion designing. After coming to know of their affair, Maruthi Rao allegedly threatened to kill Pranay several times, asking his daughter to return home. As the opposition grew from her family, Pranay and Amrita eloped on January 30 and got married at an Arya Samaj temple. On February 15, they returned to Pranay’s house. Pranay’s father P Balaswami said that Maruthi Rao threatened his son several times, but they never expected that he would be murdered.
On Friday, Pranay, Amrita and his mother Prameela were going home after the pre-natal checkup of Amrita, who is five-months pregnant, when an unidentified assailant attacked Pranay with a machete, delivering two fatal blows on his neck. Pranay died on the spot.
The murder in the name of caste has shocked Telangana, with many people, SC/ST organisations and Dalit activists condemning the killing. This is the second such incident in Nalgonda district. Last May, Amboji Naresh, 23, who hailed from a backward community, married his long-time lover from a forward caste and was murdered by his father-in-law T Srinivas Reddy. Naresh’s wife Swati was one-month pregnant. On May 2, Naresh disappeared and could not be traced. On May 16, Swati too committed suicide. On May 27, Srinivas Reddy confessed to bludgeoning Naresh to death and burning the body. He told police that as Naresh belonged to a lower caste, he was not acceptable to him and was enraged when he learnt that his daughter, who eloped and got married to Naresh a month earlier, was pregnant.
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