Even as Telangana is recovering from the tragic murder of Pranay, a 21-year-old Dalit man from Karimnagar was thrashed by the family members of the woman he loved, who belongs to the upper caste Reddy community. The victim, Nandigottu Saikiran, who is from Mangali caste, has suffered injuries to his eyes, legs and back. He is presently being treated at a hospital in Karimnagar.
The incident took place on Monday. However, it came to light, after The New Indian Express reported it on Thursday. According to Saikiran, a resident of Indurthy who is pursuing a degree at a college in Karimnagar, he is in love with 21-year-old Haritha, who was from the neighbouring village. They have known each other since they were in school.
Recently, Saikiran brought Haritha home to his mother Chandrakala, and told her that they wanted to get married. However, fearing violence from the Reddy community, Chandrakala reprimanded him, and told him to take Haritha back to her place.
“When he brought her home and said that they wanted to marry, I knew that trouble would follow. I said that it was not good to bring a woman home without the consent of her parents. I told him that the woman is from an upper caste community. I even convinced her to go back to her house,” says Chandrakala, speaking to TNM.
Fearing her son’s and the woman’s safety, Chandrakala says she called the Haritha’s parents and told them to forget about the incident, and said that her son would drop their daughter home safely. “I told them not to make it a big issue,” she says.
However, after the incident, Haritha was allegedly kept under house arrest and she remained inaccessible, according to Saikiran.
“A week ago, Haritha contacted me from her sister’s phone, and told me about the house arrest. On Monday, she again got in touch with me and told me that her family is looking a prospective groom for her,” Saikiran says.
Learning this, Saikiran tried to reach her home and they decided to elope. However, the family, who noticed him, allegedly thrashed him mercilessly until he fell unconscious. They also seized his phone.
“They were at least 20 people. They hit me with belts, chappals and anything they could find. I collapsed after a heavy blow to my head. I don’t remember much of what happened,” Saikiran says.
Following the attack, two teenagers helped Saikiran, and through them he got in touch with his friends and his mother.
Subsequently, the victim approached Karimnagar II town police and filed a complaint. Police registered an FIR in which Haritha’s uncle, Komatireddy Ramgopal Reddy is named as the prime accused. Police registered cases under IPC section 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 324 (voluntarily cause hurt with deadly weapons) and 379 (punishment for theft).
TNM made numerous attempts to contact Karimnagar II town Inspector to find out if they have made any arrests. However, he remained inaccessible.