‘Be careful’: Telangana cops had warned newly-weds a month before Pranay was murdered

"No complaints nor petitions were filed with the police, else we would have given protection to the couple," say police investigating the alleged caste killing.
 ‘Be careful’: Telangana cops had warned newly-weds a month before Pranay was murdered
‘Be careful’: Telangana cops had warned newly-weds a month before Pranay was murdered
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When Pranay and Amrutha last visited the DSP office at Miryalaguda in the month of August to invite police officials to their wedding reception, they were given a warning to be careful. Officials say they were unaware that there was a credible threat against Pranay, a Dalit who was murdered outside Jyothi Hospital in Miryalaguda in broad daylight on September 14.

A suspected case of caste killing, Pranay had in January married Amrutha, who belongs to the Vaishya caste (a caste group categorised as Forward), against the wishes of both families. And while Pranav’s parents later accepted the marriage, even hosting a reception for the newly-weds on August 17, Amruta’s parents refused to do so.

Police recall that they had summoned Amrutha’s father, Maruthi Rao, to the station in March this year to counsel him. They had questioned him to see whether he planned to resort to violence.

"We had called him for counselling in March. He was weeping and said that he would not do such a thing, he told us that the reports about him issuing threats were wrong," said AV Ranganath, Superintendent of Police for Nalgonda to TNM. "No complaints nor petitions were filed with the police else we would have given police protection to the couple," he added.

Pranay's family members had alleged that Maruthi Rao had in the months since the wedding issued threats against Pranay and his family. "These threats were issued to us through people known to us mutually, so there are no call recordings or any other proof to show that Rao had threatened us," said Amruthiya, Pranay's uncle. However, taking the threat seriously the family installed three CCTV cameras in their premises at Mutthireddy Kunta.

Deputy Superintendent of Police for Nalgonda Srinivas, who is investigating the case, told TNM, "I had my suspicions about the father and had warned the couple in August. I suspected some untoward incident could happen as the issue was caste related. When they held the reception in August, we gave out notices and had deployed a few police officers at the venue so that nothing bad happens.”

On Saturday, Amrutha had told the media that her father and uncle are allegedly behind the murder of her husband. However, police are tight-lipped about the role of her uncle in connection with the case.

While Maruthi Rao was last seen on Friday heading towards Hyderabad, officials dismissed reports that he had paid Rs 10 lakh to a contract killer and that the suspects have been detained in Hyderabad. "We are building a watertight case and the investigation is progressing fast. We will hold a press meet in two to three days and reveal what exactly happened," said Ranganath.

It should be noted that the investigating officer Ranganath was earlier a part of the team that wrongly accused a Dalit man, Satyam Babu, for the murder of 17-year-old pharmacy student Ayesha Meera from Andhra Pradesh who was killed on December 27, 2007. Ayesha’s body was found outside the toilet of the hostel in which she stayed. Satyam was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2010 for rape and murder, but was later acquitted by the Hyderabad High Court in 2017, which also pulled up the officers who had investigated the case.


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