Unni Dev, late actor Rajan P Dev's son, has been charged with abetment of suicide and subjecting wife to cruelty.

Wedding photo of Image Unni Dev and PriyankaImage credit: Screen grab / Asianet News
news Crime Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 20:03

After days of controversy in the death of late Malayalam actor Rajan P Dev's daughter-in-law Priyanka, on May 25, Thiruvananthapuram police arrested his son, Unni Dev, on the charges of abetment of suicide and cruelty towards wife. Following the death of Priyanka, her family alleged that Unni used to harass and physically assault her. After her death on May 12, Priyanka’s brother had filed a complaint of domestic abuse in Vattappara police station.

Priyanka was found dead in her parents house in Thiruvananthapuram’s Vattappara village on May 12, a day after she returned from her in-law's house at Angamaly in Ernakulam. Initially, the police filed a case of unnatural death after Priyanka was found dead. Later, her brother filed a complaint, alleging that Priyanka was harassed by her in-laws. Incidentally, a day before her death, Priyanka, too, had reportedly filed a domestic abuse complaint with the Vattappara police. Though the police began their probe, it was halted as Unni was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was arrested on May 25 after he tested negative for coronavirus.

Unni's father Rajan P Dev, a popular Malayalam actor, had passed away in 2009. He had acted in over 200 films. Unni, who has also acted in a few movies, married Priyanka in 2019. Priyanka worked as a teacher in a private school. According to her relatives, their marriage was going well initially. However, soon, she alleged that she was being physically and mentally tortured by her husband and in-laws.

Following Priyanka's death, her family had also raised these allegations in the media. Her mother had told Asianet News that three months after the wedding, her husband started physically assaulting her. Speaking to Manorama News, her mother alleged, "I had seen Priyanka being beaten when she was staying in our house with Unni. When I went to stop him, he punched me. She had even sustained injuries due to the attacks." The family has handed over visuals of Priyanka’s injures to the police.

Read: Kerala sees rise in domestic violence during lockdown

Priyanka's mother also alleged that her in-laws used to ask them for money to buy a television or pay the electricity bill. The family alleged that Priyanka's mother-in-law also used to harass and demean her for not being financially sound.

On May 25, Tuesday, a team led by Nedumangad Deputy Superintendent of Police arrived at Unni Dev's house in Ernakulam district and took him into custody. After ensuring his COVID-19 test is negative, they went ahead with further procedures. According to the police, he has been charged with 498 A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

Watch Priyanka's mother's interview:

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