"Why would Amrutha take the name of TRS MLA Vemula Veeresham after a day of her husband's murder?" questions Telangana Congress

Telangana parties question TRS MLAs involvement in Pranays murder
news Politics Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 09:40
After Congress worker, identified as Mohammad Abdul Kareem, was arrested for his involvement in the caste killing of Pranay on September 14, Telangana Congress has questioned the role of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislator Vemula Veeresham in the case. 
 
"Why would Amrutha take the name of TRS MLA Vemula Veeresham the day after her husband's murder?" questioned General Secretary and Chief Spokesperson for the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee, Sravan Dasoju.  
 
Speaking to TNM, Sravan says that nothing about the MLA was mentioned at the press meet held by the Nalgonda Superintendent of Police. "Why has the police not called Vemula for questioning? Without sending him a notice and interrogating him, how did they conclude that he had no involvement? The role of Vemula Veeresham needs to be probed further in all legitimacy. Veeresham is no saint and has a dubious background. There should be more transparency in this investigation," he added.
 
On September 16, while speaking to media, Amrutha had alleged that TRS MLC Vemula Veeresham had conspired in Pranay's murder with her father, Maruthi Rao. 
 
“Nakrekal MLA Vemula Veeresham called us to meet him, but Pranay and I were scared because we had seen the news that he was involved in some criminal cases in Nalgonda. 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 approached IG Stephen Ravindra, who informed other senior police officers," said Amrutha to local media. 
 
Pranay's family members had told TNM that the MLA would often act as a conduit, conveying the threats issued by Maruthi Rao to the family. However, the family has no proof to offer with regard to the threats issued by the MLA. 
 
The spokesperson for the TRS party Keshava Rao told TNM, "I have not heard about Amrutha accusing MLA Vemula of being a co-conspirator in this case. Whoever is responsible must be brought to court. This is a gruesome murder; it’s condemnable and the culprit must be booked.”
 
The Nalgonda Police investigating the murder speaking to media on Wednesday said, "Vemula spoke to Balaswamy and the uncle, near Nakrekal. They said he threatened, but he told police that he just spoke to them and said that he also did inter-caste marriage and he has been living happy,". Police say Vemula only advised the couple to, "Take consent of all elders of both sides of families and then do marriage."
 
Speaking on the arrest of Mohammad Abdul Kareem, a Congress leader from Miryalaguda who is one amongst the accused in the caste killing of Pranay, the Congress spokesperson said, "Kareem has been suspended and removed from the party, the action was taken by the disciplinary committee. His actions are not pardonable."
 
Condemning Pranay's murder on the floor of the Andhra Pradesh assembly, the state's Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said, "If the boy is of good conduct; if they decide to get married and be happy, parents should bless them, else help them or just leave them. But killing a person is horrifying. It all happened because of caste arrogance and there’s a need to let go of it.”
 
However, no such expression of condemnation or grief came from the Telangana chief minister K Chandra Shekar Rao. The Chief Minister had kept his distance even in the aftermath of Rohit Vemula's death in 2016. 
 
Only KT Rama Rao, the minister for IT and the son of the Telangana chief minister has come out with a tweet expressing his anguish over Pranay's murder, saying "Pranay’s gruesome murder in Miryalaguda has come as a rude shock. Dismayed & anguished on how deep rooted casteism still is. The perpetrators of this heinous crime will be punished & justice will prevail. My condolences & wholehearted sympathies to his wife Amrutha Garu & parents,"
 
Caste killings in the name of inter-caste marriages are not new to Telangana, says CPI (M)-affiliated Inter-Caste Marriages Federation, "There have been over 13 documented cases of caste killings due to inter-caste marriages since the formation of Telangana," said T Skylab Babu president of the federation, "We have documented it and have kept records," he added. 
 
Caste policies of TRS
 
The Congress spokesperson said that, "Caste atrocities has increased since the formation of the Telangana state. The present government is trying to divide the society in the name of caste. This government has in the four years built caste bhavans and created caste centred politics and developmental programmes in the state. The issue of caste is a more of a social concern, people have the right to choose who they wish to marry that we are snatching away that right in the name of caste," he added.  
 
Professor Kodandaram, president of Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) said, "This is not the first time such an incident has happened in Telangana, there have been such cases in the past. In none of these instances, the government has taken any action. On the contrary, the ruling party has shielded and guarded the interest of the accused, had the government then taken prompt action these issues would not have perpetuated," said Kodandaram.
 
The TJS party chief said that there is nothing wrong if developmental policies in the state are aimed to address specific problems faced by particular castes but the developmental policies adopted by the TRS government perpetuates caste systems and hierarchy. "If a particular caste has a specific problem there is nothing wrong with initiating developmental policy for their welfare, there is nothing wrong in that. What is wrong is if the policy perpetuates this inequality. In this particular case, Pranay was punished for marrying a girl from the higher caste.  In this particular instance if the government doesn't take action and take punish the culprits, and if they don't launch a campaign against their own leader you are perpetuating caste systems and hierarchy," he added.
 
When the TRS spokesperson was quizzed about the various developmental activities undertaken by the government, he said, "We believe in social justice, we are certainly for the downtrodden people, if caste is going to help them it's another matter, we are poor people-centric. Almost all downtrodden people are poor only because of their caste,". Rao played down the notion that the developmental activities undertaken by the party are caste centric, "We want to bring up the downtrodden people, caste need not be necessarily perpetuated or promoted by our policies," he added.
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