Human interest
A young couple from different castes in love, first the husband disappears, then the wife is found dead.
Uma Sudhir via Twitter

'He's my only son. Where is he?" A worried Venkataiah asked the media who had gathered around him outside the Hyderabad High Court. His 23-year-old son Amboji Naresh, had gone missing two weeks ago.

Even as Venkataiah and his family were frantically searching for Naresh, the second tragedy happened.

In the early hours of May 16, Naresh's wife, twenty-year-old Tummala Swathi allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself in her parents' house in Athmakur mandal of Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district. 

She was due to appear before the court two days later, in the case relating to her missing husband.

Two days after Swathi's death, the Hyderabad High Court has ordered that a top level Telangana should probe into her mysterious death, and the case relating to Naresh.

Venkataiah, moved the HC on May 15 and filed a habeas corpus petition, stating that he feared for his son's safety. 

The couple, who knew each other since they were children eloped in March this year. Their friendship from their school days blossomed into a relationship in college. The couple got married in Mumbai on March 25, despite opposition.

Meanwhile, Swathi's father Srinivas Reddy has alleged that Naresh and his family had tortured his daughter for dowry and Naresh had gone missing after making demands for dowry. 

On May 2, the police said that Naresh and Swathi travelled to Bhongir town in Telangana, where the couple called Swathi's father, Srinivas Reddy, to pick her up and take her home. Reports suggest that the couple came to Bhongir, after Swathi’s father called her and pleaded with her to return. He had apparently promised that he would welcome his son-in-law.

However, Naresh has been missing since that night. Police tracked his phone records, and confirmed that he was in the town until 9pm that day, after which his phone was switched off. 

Reacting to the court's judgement, Venkataiah told TV9, "Swathi had Naresh's name on her lips till she died. She really liked Naresh, and he reciprocated that love. Since they loved each other so much, and decided to marry, we should have just let them live their lives and they would have eked out a living."

Addressing Swathi's father, Venkataiah added, "When we left her with you, wasn't she your responsibility? Instead of taking care of her, you have led her to this extreme step."

He also said that Naresh was his only son, and his trust in the police was eroding with each passing day.

"I just want justice," he said. 

Naresh's father had also alleged earlier that it was an honour killing, as Swathi had married outside her caste. 

While Swathi belonged to the upper-caste Reddy community, Naresh was reported to be from a lower caste.

According to reports, Swathi had tried to kill herself on May 15 too, and consumed toilet cleaning liquid. She was rushed to the hospital, and discharged the same day after a stomach wash.

After sitting with her through the night, her relatives went to sleep in the early hours of May 16. However, the 20-year-old went into the bathroom, used a stole, and allegedly hanged herself.

The HC was immediately informed of Swathi's death, and it asked the police to videograph the post-mortem. After hearing the case on Thursday, the court asked the police to either find and produce Naresh, or file a detailed report on the incident.