The parents of the girl had earlier claimed that she had taken her own life on October 12.

AP police arrest parents for murder of Chittoor minor who had eloped with Dalit teen
news Caste murder Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 13:51

A case of a minor girl’s suspicious death in Chittoor district is now believed to have been a murder. Police have arrested the girl’s father, who is believed to have strangled her to death. The girl’s mother and two other relatives, were also arrested by the Kuppam rural police on Saturday. 

Last week, a 17-year-old Chandana was found dead in Chittoor days after eloping with a Dalit teen, raising suspicions about the cause of her death. The parents of the girl, who belonged to a village near Kuppam town, had claimed that she took her life on the evening of October 12. However, with the family immediately cremating her body, suspicions of foul play in her death led to a case of a suspicious death being registered, as there was no circumstantial evidence or eyewitnesses, and the body had already been cremated. 

The couple had eloped on October 11 and got married in a temple in Kuppam. On October 12, the Dalit boy’s father and a few other elders found them and convinced them to separate as the girl was a minor, Rallabudugur SI Murali Mohan had earlier told TNM. After returning to their respective homes, the girl’s parents claimed that on Saturday evening, they found that she had taken her own life. 

However, police have now revealed that as per their investigation, after his daughter returned home, Venkatesh tried to convince her to forget about her partner. When she refused, he strangled her to death, when no one else was in the house. “He then made it look like she had killed herself, and that’s what he told neighbours and others. He revealed the truth to his wife, brother, and two nephews, who helped him get rid of her body,” Kuppam Rural CI MR Krishna Mohan said

According to SI Murali Mohan, the parents had earlier claimed that they had to cremate her body in a rush, as the villagers believed that keeping an unmarried girl’s corpse was inauspicious for the village. The police have now said that as per their investigation, Venkatesh, with the help of his relatives, disposed of his daughter’s body in a rush by burning it with petrol. “They then packed the mortal remains in gunny bags, rode towards Kyasamballi near the Karnataka-Andhra border and dumped the remains in a pond,” Krishna Mohan said. 

Police have now arrested K Venkatesh (44), the girl’s father, Amaravathi (38), the mother, K Varamurthi (47), Venkatesh’s brother, and B Muniraju (25), Venkatesh’s nephew. Varamurthi’s son, who was also involved in the case, is still absconding. While Venkatesh has been booked under IPC section 302 for his daughter’s murder, the others have been booked under section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender). 

Chandana had been in a relationship with 19-year-old Nanda Kumar for about six months. The minor girl was from the Valmiki (BC) community, while Nanda Kumar, who lives in the Boddumudi hamlet close to Reddlapalli, belongs to the Mala (SC) community. Both of them were first-year degree students who went to a college in Kuppam. Around 2 months back, the girl’s family had found out about their relationship and had even stopped her education, SI Murali Mohan had earlier said. 

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