The family of Pranay, the victim of a brutal caste killing in Telangana’s Miryalaguda, is struggling to cope in the aftermath of the tragedy, as they continue to live in the shadow of fear.
The family has seen a number of visits from politicians and activists who have expressed their support, but it does not seem to keep away a sense of looming threat.
“We are afraid. There is fear,” says Perumalla Balaswamy, Pranay’s father, when asked if there is fear after the police mentioned that there is a possibility that Sravan (uncle of Pranay's wife Amrutha) and the driver (Shiva) may get bail.
Activists and family, including Pranay’s wife Amrutha, have asked for a law against atrocities on inter-caste couples, called the Pranay Act. Less than a week after Pranay’s murder, in another similar incident, an inter-caste couple was attacked in Hyderabad on Wednesday by the woman’s father for marrying outside their caste.
Reiterating the demand, Balaswamy said, “The fresh attack (on inter-caste couple Madhavi and Sandeep in Hyderabad) shows that the Pranay Act is the need of the hour.”
When TNM asked if he sees his son Pranay as someone fought against caste, Balaswamy said, “My son never knew what caste was before. He asked me what SC was”.
“But later, he used to say that it is because of caste that my love has been killed and boycotted (veliprema). Caste should go, it needs to be annihilated. I will fight for his ideal,” he said, referring to the alleged threats made by people known to Amrutha’s father Maruthi Rao.
“They killed him because he acted against them and challenged casteism through his love,” Balaswamy added.
It will be a week on Friday since Balaswamy’s family lost their son and Amrutha saw the murder of her loving husband right in front of her eyes.
Talking about Amrutha, Balaswamy said, “She is scared that they will attack her, she says that they will do anything since she is carrying their baby. Yesterday she sought protection from the Superintendent of Police.”
Earlier, district SP AV Ranganath too maintained that they would provide the required security to the family.
Saying he never imagined that Pranay’s life would end so soon, Balaswamy said, “I thought he would be settled soon, never thought he will go like this. I wished to see him happy with kids. And thought my younger son too would finish studying medicine.”
Balaswamy added that he would send his younger son Ajay back to Ukraine, where he is studying medicine, to continue his studies.
Meanwhile, SP-AV Ranganath and Collector Gourav Uppal also visited the family on Thursday.
(With inputs from Kartheek B)