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Following a minor girl’s suspicious death in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district, police have arrested the deceased’s father, mother and two other relatives for allegedly murdering her after she eloped with a Dalit teen.
Last week, Chandana, 17, was found dead in Chittoor just after she eloped with the Dalit teen. Her parents, who belong to a village near Kuppam town, claimed that she committed suicide on the evening of October 12. Her family immediately cremated her body, leading to a suspicion of foul play. A case of a suspicious death being registered as the body was already cremated and there was no circumstantial evidence or eyewitnesses saying otherwise.
On October 11, the couple had eloped and got married in a temple in Kuppam. The boy’s father and a few others found the couple on October 12 and convinced them to separate as the girl was a minor. They returned to their respective homes. Soon after, the girl’s family claimed that she had taken her life.
However, police investigation revealed that after she returned home, the girl’s father tried to convince her to forget about her partner. When she refused, he strangled her. “He then made it look like she had killed herself, and that’s what he told neighbours and others. He revealed the truth to his wife, brother, and two nephews, who helped him get rid of her body,” The News Minute quoted Kuppam Rural circle inspector MR Krishna Mohan as saying.
Sub Inspector Murali Mohan said that earlier, the parents had claimed that they cremated the body in a hurry because the villagers believed that keeping an unmarried girl’s dead body was inauspicious for the village. The father, Venkatesh, and his relatives actually disposed of the body in a rush and burned it with petrol.
“They packed the mortal remains in gunny bags, rode towards Kyasamballi near the Karnataka-Andhra border and dumped the remains in a pond,” Krishna Mohan said. Police have now arrested the girl’s father, K Venkatesh (44), her mother, Amaravathi (38), Venkatesh’s brother K Varamurthi (47) and B Muniraju (25), Venkatesh’s nephew. Varamurthi’s son, also involved in the case, is absconding.
Venkatesh has been booked under IPC section 302 for his daughter’s murder, and the others have been booked under section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of the offence, or giving false information to screen offender).
For about six months, Chandana had been in a relationship with 19-year-old Nanda Kumar. While Chandana belonged to the Valmiki (BC) community, Nanda Kumar, who lives in the Boddumudi hamlet close to Reddlapalli, belongs to the Mala (SC) community. Both of them went to a college in Kuppam and were first-year degree students. Around a couple of months back, the girl’s family had found out about their relationship and had even stopped her education.
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