The case of Telangana couple Naresh and Swathi continues to get murkier, as an audio clip has now surfaced where allegedly a police officer can be heard asking Swathi to return from Mumbai.
Naresh Amboji (23), a Dalit and Tummala Swathi (20), a woman from an upper caste, had eloped in March this year and got married in Mumbai. The love story ended in tragedy with Swathi allegedly ending her life in her maternal home in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district on May 16. Two days ago, Naresh's charred body remains were recovered from Swathi's father's agricultural field.
Police say Amboji Naresh, who was missing since May 1, was killed by his father-in-law, Srinivas Reddy, who was unhappy with his daughter marrying a youth from another caste.
Media reports suggest that the police officer in the audio clip is an SI from the Bhongir circle under the Rachakonda Commissionerate, while some state that the police officer was from the Athmakur police station.
In the clip that surfaced, Swathi is heard asking, "What is the problem if I stay here(Mumbai)?"
The police officer replies saying that since a missing complaint was filed by her parents, they had to establish if Swathi was alive or dead.
"I am alive, that's why I'm speaking on the phone right?" Swathi says, to which the police officer replies, "You could be held under knife point. We don't know that right? If you come here, we can prove that you are alright and went to Mumbai with your consent."
After the police officer repeatedly insists that Swathi has to come back from Mumbai, she says that she has submitted all her certificates that she is alive, and that she has married Naresh.
However, the police officer does not budge, and asks her to leave from Mumbai immediately.
"Don't be afraid. I'm there with you," the police officer says, following which Swathi seeks assurance that the case would be dropped once she visits the police station.
"100 percent," comes the reply.
However, Deccan Chronicle reported that after the couple came back to the village, Ramannapet CI N Srinivas allowed Swathi's father to take her home, and sent Naresh back.
The DC report quotes legal experts saying that the police could not compel two consulting adults, who eloped and married, to get separated.
However, the police have since claimed, that they were just following the procedure after a missing case was filed.
Meanwhile, Naresh's parents staged a dharna in Bhongir town on Sunday.
Stating that they had to move the High Court before the police started making progress in the case, they reiterated their claim that Swathi's 'suicide' could have also been a murder.
They also demanded a thorough enquiry and action against the police officers allegedly involved in the case.
Naresh's father, Amboji Venkataiah had approached the Hyderabad High Court, a few days ago, alleging that Swathi's father was behind his son's disappearance.
Reddy, who comes from an upper caste, had also filed a dowry case against Naresh and his parents.
However, the case took a 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.
After Swathi's father was arrested, the police said that he confessed to the crime, and told them that he took the help of his brother and son to kill Naresh, set afire his body and throw it in Musi River.
However, this still does not explain Swathi's video, in which she alleges that she was being harassed by Naresh and his parents for dowry.
The Rachakonda police told media persons on Sunday that they would need to probe the video further, to ascertain if it was recorded under pressure.
The Times of India reported that the video statement was found in Srinivas' phone, as Swathi did not own a phone.
The police plan to send the phone for forensic examination.