‘I demand punishment for my father’: Madhavi, survivor of Hyderabad caste crime

20-year-old Madhavi spent the past month in a hospital, first battling for her life and then slowly recovering.
‘I demand punishment for my father’: Madhavi, survivor of Hyderabad caste crime
‘I demand punishment for my father’: Madhavi, survivor of Hyderabad caste crime

The last month has been traumatic for 20-year-old Madhavi. She spent it in a hospital ward in Hyderabad, first battling for her life, then slowly recovering. On September 19, her father, Manoharachari, attacked her and her husband, Sandeep, in broad daylight in the heart of Hyderabad city. 

The incident, caught on camera, showed Manoharachari repeatedly hacking Madhavi in the middle of the road near Gokul Theatre in Erragadda with a sickle, even as she screamed for help. After many surgeries and several weeks under medical observation, Madhavi was discharged on Wednesday.

As Madhavi was wheeled in to the press meet held to make the announcement, a large number of media persons surrounded the team of doctors and the family members accompanying her. 

Overwhelmed by the large crowd, Madhavi was anxious, even shivering slightly, but spoke confidently when her turn came. Standing close to Sandeep, Madhavi was certain of one thing. 

"I demand punishment for my father and I don't want to speak to my family again," she asserted. 

She also narrated her how the horrific attack unfolded in her eyes and added that she did not suspect that her father would be carrying a sickle in his bag. 

"My father had called us and said that he would pass on my educational certificates to me. When I reached the spot and tried to touch his bag, he pushed me away. I thought that he had some gold and he was also heavily drunk, which is why he was being protective of the bag," Madhavi narrated.

Doctors who treated Madhavi at Yashoda hospital also went into details of how they treated her. The attack had left her left hand attached to the rest of her limb by barely a few inches. "After the attack, I first looked at my hand and I kept looking at it to ensure that it was there," Madhavi said.

The doctors said that they had to re-attach nerves and blood vessels in the arm. Madhavi wore the cast on her arm even as she spoke to the reporters.

While the police denied the caste angle behind the crime, Madhavi as well as Sandeep's family have been insisting otherwise. "There is a possibility of caste angle behind my attack. It is also possible that my relatives could have provoked my father. My mother and brother are good people. It is only my father who is to blame," she said.

When asked if she had informed Manoharachari of her marriage, Madhavi said, "I never had the freedom. He would buy things which I liked, but he never understood my feelings and he never tried. I didn't tell him about my love [for Sandeep] because I knew what his reaction would be. He would have declined and dismissed it right away. That's why I didn't disclose [my relationship] to him."

When asked if she supported more inter-caste marriages, Madhavi nodded. "Yes, what’s wrong in it? All humans are equals, right?" she argued.

Manoharachari was arrested after the attack and booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC and relevant sections of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He continues to remain in jail.

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