The case relating to the disappearance of a Dalit youth in Telangana took a dramatic turn on Saturday as police arrested his father-in-law and two others for his murder.
Police said Amboji Naresh (23), who was missing since May 1, was killed by Srinivas Reddy, who was unhappy with his daughter marrying a youth from another caste.
Reddy, who had called his daughter Swathi and son-in-law from Mumbai with a promise to accept their marriage, allegedly murdered Naresh, set the body afire in his fields in Lingarajupalli village of Nalgonda district.
Nareshâ€™s charred body was recovered by the police from the field.
Reddy, who was being questioned by the police for nearly two weeks, confessed to the crime and told police that he took the help of his brother and son to kill Naresh, set afire his body and throw it in Musi River.
Tummala Swathi (20) had allegedly committed suicide at his parents' house on May 16, in a tragic end of a love story and an inter-caste marriage between the two childhood friends.
The couple had eloped in March and married in Mumbai against the wishes of Swathi's father.
Reddy, who comes from an upper caste, had also filed a dowry case against Naresh and his parents.
Naresh's father had approached Hyderabad High Court, seeking direction to police to trace his missing son. Amboji Venkataiah suspected that Swathi's father was behind his son's disappearance.
However, things took a murky turn when a video tape in which Swathi was blaming her husband and his parents emerged. In the video, Swathi alleges that they were pestering her for dowry. The mobile video was purportedly shot after Swathi made a first attempt to commit suicide.
Swathi allegedly ended her life a couple of days before she was to appear in the court in connection with the missing case.
On May 18, the court had directed police to probe the missing case and submit a report on June 1.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat had appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police Venkateshwar Rao to head the investigations. He had constituted five search teams and announced Rs 50,000 reward to anyone providing information about Naresh.
The story of the couple
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 a college they both studied in Valigonda in Nalgonda district. The couple got married in Mumbai on March 25, despite opposition from her parents.
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 Swathiâ€™s father called her and pleaded with her to return. He had apparently promised that he would welcome his son-in-law.
However, Naresh was 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.