The petitioner, Amrutha, wife of the late Pranay, has sought a ban on the film’s release.

Ram Gopal Varma
Flix Controversy Wednesday, August 05, 2020 - 17:30

The Special Sessions Court of Nalgonda has issued summons to director Ram Gopal Varma to appear before them in person or through his lawyer on Thursday, in relation to the case involving his movie Murder. The petitioner, Amrutha, has sought a ban on the film’s release. 

Murder is based on the real life story of Pranay and Amrutha, residents of Miryalaguda, who entered into an intercaste marriage. Pranay was brutally hacked to death by a professional killer who was allegedly hired by Amrutha's father, Maruthi Rao.

However, the controversial director, without seeking the consent of Amrutha or Pranay’s family has planned to release the movie. Going by the promos, the movie glorifies Maruthi Rao's act of caste violence as triggered by ‘love towards his daughter’. 

The director infamously released the poster of the movie on ‘Father’s Day’ (June 21) on social media and said, “Ironically it’s too much love of a father which caused the violent tragedy in Amrutha and Maruthi Rao’s story.” Despite criticism, Ram Gopal Varma defended his actions and released the trailer of the film recently. 

Taking strong objection to the narrative that ‘father’s love’ led to the murder of Pranay, Amrutha approached the Nalgonda court last month. Subsequently, the court transferred the case to the Special Sessions Court, Nalgonda. 

On July 31, the court issued a show cause notice to director Ram Gopal Varma to appear before the court. Amrutha, in her petition, wrote that the movie promos had traumatised her, with several social media users bad mouthing her, attacking her personal life and her late husband Pranay on social media. 

She said that the movie had invaded her privacy and portrayed her story in a prejudiced light. “The movie Murder is centrally on me, and admittedly not a fictional or artistic creation, the respondents have no right to depict the film or exhibit in any manner or on any platform without my prior consent,” Amrutha said in her petition. 

In September 2018, a Dalit man, Pranay was hacked to death in broad daylight for marrying Amrutha, who belongs to the Vyshya community. The murder was plotted by Amrutha’s father Maruthi Rao who hired a professional killer, the police investigation revealed. The sensational murder which took place in Miryalaguda, Telangana, created a huge outrage in the state.

However, before the investigation could conclude and prove Maruthi Rao guilty of the crime, he took his own life in Hyderabad on March 8, 2020. Aided by Telugu media, Maruthi Rao’s death gained sympathy, and several people slut-shamed Amrutha and unfairly held her responsible.

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