Former Congress leader Abdul Kareem from Miryalaguda, Telangana, accused of aiding in the murder of Perumalla Pranay, a Dalit, for marrying an upper-caste woman, filed nomination on Friday to contest in the municipal elections as the councillor.
Though the party had suspended him and did not issue the B-form, he still filed his nomination as contestant from the Congress.
Kareem is accused number five in the murder of Pranay, who was killed two years ago in broad daylight. In the caste-crime, Kareem was accused of facilitating Maruthi Rao, the prime accused, with contract killers to eliminate Pranay.
After his role in the crime was established, the Congress party had promptly suspended him, and he was subsequently arrested. However, it seems that both Kareem and Maruthi Rao, who are out on bail, enjoy public support in their town.
Last year in October, Miryalaguda MLA N Bhaskar Rao and Telangana Legislative Council Chairman Gutta Sukhender Reddy shared the stage with Maruthi Rao at the Dasara celebrations.
Maruthi Rao was the general secretary of the Dasara celebrations committee that organised the festivities in Miryalaguda.
On September 14, Pranay and his wife Amrutha, who was pregnant at the time, were coming out of a private hospital in Miryalaguda, when Pranay was attacked with a machete and killed on the spot. The accused was identified as Subash Sharma. The entire incident was caught on CCTV camera, and the caste-killing created widespread outrage in the state.
In June, the Nalgonda police filed a 1600-page chargesheet detailing the sequence of events that led to the planned murder of Pranay. However, the trial in the case has not started.
Shortly after Pranay's murder, a group under the banner of 'Thalli Thandrula Parirakshana Vedika' (Parentsâ€™ Protection Forum), comprising members of the Arya Vyshya Sangham, the same caste that Maruthi Rao belonged to, put their weight behind the accused and even took out a rally for him in Miryalaguda and even met him in jail. Several social media posts too hailed him as a hero, with many users changing their display picture to Maruthi Rao's.