Asking Amrutha to be brave and stand her ground, Gowsalya and her lawyer met Amrutha.

Gowsalya meets Amrutha Survivors of Shankar Pranay caste murders stand togetherImage Credit: Kartheek B
news Caste Friday, September 21, 2018 - 13:08

What happens to survivors of brutal caste crimes, when the criminal is their own family, and the victim is their own partner? A Dalit man, Shankar, was murdered by his wife’s family in Tamil Nadu in 2016; and in a similar hate-filled crime, another Dalit man, Pranay, has been killed by his wife’s father in Telangana.

On Friday, Shankar’s wife Gowsalya – who has been fighting for justice and whose family has been convicted for killing her husband – visited a grieving Amrutha at Pranay’s family’s residence in Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district, and expressed solidarity with the younger woman.

Gowsalya was accompanied by her lawyer and anti-caste activists. Asking Amrutha to be brave and to stand her ground, Gowsalya showed the video of Shankar's brutal murder on her phone. Amrutha asked how many people were punished and how they put up a fight, to which Gowsalya's lawyer explained the legal aspects of her case.

The lawyers also explained to Amrutha, how Gowsalya herself had objected to the bail petition of her parents in the Madras High Court 58 times, after Shankar's murder.

"What was the reason for the murder of your husband? Was it caste?" Amrutha asked. "Caste was the only reason," Gowsalya replied.

"I want all the seven accused in Pranay's murder also to hang and they should not get bail. Even if my uncle comes out, it will be harmful to me. They may even try to kill me or harm my baby," Amrutha told the gathering present at the house.

"Will you say all that happened to the court? Only then, they will get severe punishment," Gowsalya told Amrutha. "Yes, I will," Amrutha replied.

Gowsalya with Pranay's father

On March 13, 2016, Gowsalya, who was 19 at the time, stood helpless as three men hacked to death her husband, 22-year-old Shankar, on her father’s orders. The two had been married for 8 months against the wishes of her parents. Gowsalya’s family, who belonged to the dominant Thevar caste, had objected to her marrying Shankar, a Dalit. Gowsalya too had been hacked, but she survived the attack.

It has been two years since the tragic incident and Gowsalya is now an activist, fighting against caste and other societal injustices.

Pranay Kumar was hacked to death on September 14 when he was coming out of a hospital with his wife Amrutha Varshini, who is five months pregnant. The two had married in January. The police have arrested seven accused including Amrutha's father Maruthi Rao, who had struck Rs 1 crore deal for the contract killing, and her uncle, Sravan.

Last week, after the news of Pranay’s death came to light, Gowsalya reached out to Amrutha.

With inputs from Kartheek B.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.