The Miryalguda police in Telangana’s Nalgonda district, have booked three people for the caste killing of Pranay Perumlla Kumar. 24-year-old Pranay, a Dalit Christian, was hacked to death in broad daylight on Friday, for marrying Amrutha Varshini, a Vaishya (a caste group categorised as Forward).
The accused have been identified as Amurtha’s father Maruthi Rao and uncle Sravan Kumar, along with ‘one other’, presumably, the unidentified assailant.
Pranay was murdered, allegedly by a hired killer, when he was coming out of hospital with his wife, Amrutha, after a pregnancy check-up. The couple had married in January this year despite strong opposition from Amrutha’s parents.
The police registered a case based on a complaint that was filed at 2:15 pm on Friday by 53-year-old Perumalla Balaswamy, Pranay’s father, within hours after his murder.
The accused have been booked under sections 302 (Murder), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 120b (Party to a criminal conspiracy) read with 109 (Abetment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The FIR, while detailing the contents of the complaint, states that Pranay and Amrutha knew each other since Class 10. However, Pranay's father told the police, that Amrutha was pursuing Pranay and even threatened to kill herself if she was not accepted by him.
“On coming to know of the same, Maruthi Rao warned Pranay. Since then, Pranay maintained distance with Amrutha, but she did not leave him and said that if he did not love her, she would die. His son accepted her proposal and fell in love with her. On knowing the same, Maruthi Rao stopped the studies of his daughter and kept her at home,” the FIR states.
The FIR says that the couple later left to Hyderabad and married at Arya Samaj, following which Maruthi Rao approached the police with kidnap complaint.
“Amrutha told the police that they willingly got married and since they were majors, the police sent the couple back. Maruthi Rao sent elders to coninvce Amrutha, but she refused and stayed in Pranay’s house,” the FIR said.
The police also detailed the attack on Pranay that led to his killing, stating that the accused left the knife at the crime scene, leaving the 24-year-old to die on the spot after sustaining injuries on his head and neck.
While Maruthi Rao and Sravan were detained, the police is yet to make the official announcement of the arrest. Maruthi Rao allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh to the hired killer.
A large number of people, including leaders of Dalit organisations, attended Pranay’s funeral on Sunday held in Miryalaguda as this caste-based killing sparked wide outrage across Telangana.
Maruthi Rao, a realtor and businessman, is said to be very influential in Miryalaguda town of Nalgonda district, with Amrutha herself saying that her father had a lot of political connections.
“He said ‘you terminate the pregnancy and live without children for three years and I’ll accept the marriage’. I told him that I won’t kill my baby irrespective of what he feels. I think he planned this because he didn’t want the baby to be a problem after they killed Pranay, so that they could take me back easily,” Amrutha told a local media outlet earlier.