'Where is my son?': Mysuru groom's father asks, as bride murdered by her parents

Sushma was killed after she fell in love and got married to a man outside her caste.
'Where is my son?': Mysuru groom's father asks, as bride murdered by her parents
'Where is my son?': Mysuru groom's father asks, as bride murdered by her parents
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Twenty-year-old Sushma had chosen her life partner, and even got married to him. But for her parents, their daughters’s decision to marry a man from another caste was too much to bear.

Sushma’s love for a man from the Dalit community was shunned by her family. On the night of February 21, she was murdered. Sushma’s parents – Kumar and Jayanti, along with her uncle Kempa have been charged for brutally murdering her in their farm located in Mysuru districts Gollanabeedu village.

Sushma is no more and her partner Umesh is on the run. Umesh’s family says they are living in fear as the police have managed to arrest only Sushma’s father, while her uncle and mother are absconding.

According to Umesh's father Dasayya, his son and Sushma knew each other from school since my son was in Class 8. "They were classmates and good friends. She is from the Vokkaliga community and is a nice girl, always scored good marks. Even though Umesh stopped studying to help out at home after Class 9, Sushma continued studying. Just over a year-and-a-half ago, they fell in love. We liked her a lot. She was a compassionate girl," Daysayya says.

In December 2016, Sushma and Umesh had eloped and the couple married at a temple not far from HD Kote. At the time, Sushma's father Kumar had filed a missing person complaint with the HD Kote Police. 

"But Kumar and his family members knew that Sushma was not missing and had eloped with my son. They tracked them down near the temple and brought them to the police station," Dasayya, a brick maker from Allanahalli says.

Soon, Sushma's family members approached the police and alleged that Umesh had tried to abduct their daughter. The HD Kote Police called Umesh's family members to the police station as well.

"Sushma told the police that she was in love with my son. It was her parents who had a problem with her being married to a man from the Dalit community. They feared that society would shame them and refused to accept the marriage. We were all at the police station for hours that day and finally, it was decided that Sushma and Umesh would not see each other and that she would go back to live with her family and never speak to Umesh again," Dasayya says.

Umesh's mother, Nanjammanni, maintains that Kumar and his wife Jayanthi threatened to make Sushma's life hell if she did not agree to part with Umesh.

"The girl was scared. So were we. Kumar seemed to be very influential. He had the backing of a politician and some other influential people as well. The police inspector in HD Kote station also said that they would beat up Umesh if he even dared to see Sushma again. We told Kumar that even though we are poor, we would look after her like a daughter but they did not want her to be with us as we are from different castes. That's why we did not want to take up a fight with him," Nanjammanni added.

After talks at the police station concluded, Sushma was taken away by Kumar. In order to ensure that she never crossed paths with Umesh again, she was sent to her paternal aunt’s house in Hebbalakuppe village.

"Kumar had promised us not to harm Umesh or Sushma but my son was also young. At the time he was only 21 years old and scared for his life. He just left home one day and never returned. We have been trying to track him for a year now. We just want to see our son's face. We will take care of him even if he takes time to get a job. We just want our son back. But what has made us scared is that if they could do this to their own daughter, what would they have done to my son," Dasayya added. 

Kumar, who was taken into police custody, said that he did not want to face the humiliation of people from his community.

"She did not want to let go of him and kept saying that she would not accept anyone but Umesh. We wanted her to get married to another man from our caste but she did not agree to it. I did not want to face the humiliation and I feared that my other two daughters would not get married because of the shame she had brought to our family. So we got her back from my sister's house, mixed pesticide in 7Up and made her drink it. She struggled but she did not die. We took her to the house in our farm and hung her from the fan. Then we burnt her body in the farm and mowed the tractor in the place where the ashes could be seen," Kumar’s confession says.

According to the investigating officer, Sub-Inspector Ashok, a beat officer who was on regular inspection of the village received information from one of the informants that Sushma was killed by her family members.

Upon inspecting the spot where the crime took place, it became evident that a person had been burnt in the farm, he says.

"Sushma's father Kumar, mother Jayanthi and her paternal uncle Kempa hatched the plan to kill her. That's why they had brought her back. Jayanthi and Kempa are absconding. All of Sushma’s relatives except for her grandparents are nowhere to be found. We are tracking them down. Kumar's youngest daughter is studying in class 9 and lives with her grandparents. His second daughter is studying PUC in Mysuru. She lives with relatives there," SI Ashok said.

Investigation has also revealed that Umesh, who left Alanahalli in December 2016, had moved to Bengaluru and taken up a job as a painter. "We don't know his exact location but we will be able to track him down soon. Once his statement is obtained, we will get clarity in the case," SI Ashok added.

A case has been registered under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC.

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