Amrutha Varshini, the wife of Pranay Perumalla, who was hacked to death in a case of caste killing on Friday in Telangana's Miryalguda town, has accused a former MLA of the caretaker Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the state of aiding her father in the murder.
Speaking to local media, Amrutha said, “Nakrekal MLA Vemula Veeresham called us to meet him, but Pranay and I were scared because we had seen news that he was involved in some criminal cases in Nalgonda itself. He also got a case booked against my father-in-law. There was no name of the complainant but the police harassed him for two days. They also threatened to file cases against Pranay. That was when we went to IG Stephen Ravindra, who informed other senior police officers."
"My father has local political contacts. The only person who can hire a contract killer, as far as I know, is Veeresham. He only must have hired him and paid them the money. My uncle Bharath Kumar and my father’s friend Gudur Seenu are also involved in this pre-planned murder. I want each of them to be severely punished," she added.
The legislator denied the allegations. “I never met or called Pranay or his father Balaswamy, nor forced any false cases against at Ketheypally police station. I have seen and heard of Amrutha Varshini and Pranay for the first time on television,” he told the New Indian Express.
Activists demanded the arrest of the former legislator as Amrutha named him on record and stated that she suspected his involvement.
In a separate development, a photo of Amrutha's father and main accused T Maruthi Rao, standing with caretaker minister G Jagadishwar Reddy at a function, went viral on social media on Sunday.
According to media reports, the police have taken Maruthi Rao, his brother T Shravan and few others into custody, but are yet to make the arrests official.
A large number of people, including leaders of Dalit organisations, attended the funeral of Pranay Kumar, held at a church in Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district, about 150 km from Hyderabad.
The funeral procession began after Pranay's brother arrived from Ukraine. The 24-year-old was hacked to death by an unknown assailant when he was coming out of a hospital with Amrutha, who is five months pregnant.
The couple had married six months ago despite strong opposition from Amrutha's parents. The murder has evoked public outrage. The town on Saturday observed shutdown on a call by Dalit groups.
On Sunday, Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao on Sunday condemned Pranay's murder. He said the murder came as a rude shock. "Dismayed and anguished on how deep rooted casteism is," he tweeted.
KTR, the son of caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, promised that the perpetrators of this heinous crime will be punished.
Maruthi Rao allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh to the hired killer. He reportedly told police that 'honour' is more important for him than his daughter.