On September 14, in a horrific incident of caste violence, a 24-year-old man belonging to the Scheduled Caste community, Perumalla Pranay, was brutally killed by a machete-wielding man. This incident happened in broad daylight outside a hospital in Miryalaguda, Telangana, where the man along with his pregnant wife visited for a check-up.
Captured in CCTV
The entire incident has been captured on the CCTV cameras. Pranay's wife, Amrutha Varshini (21) along with her mother-in-law and Pranay can be seen going towards their car, which was parked 30mts from the hospital entrance.
A man can be seen following them. He had the machete in his hand wrapped in a white cloth. The moment the three reached the hospital gate, the assailant landed his machete on Pranay's head, causing him to collapse immediately. The women can be seen initially taken aback by the incident but they soon run towards Pranay and try to stop the attacker.
The man then lands another blow on Pranay and quickly gets rid of the machete and flees the scene. Disoriented, the two women then run towards the hospital for help. Pranay died on the spot while Amrutha was admitted to the hospital as she was in a state of shock.
Pranay and Amrutha were married for eight months and Amrutha is five months pregnant.
Caste- The culprit
Speaking to The Wire, Premalatha, the victim's mother, said, "We were frightened by the sudden attack. We tried to fight, but we feared for our own lives as well. We were aware that my son's life was under threat as he had married an upper caste and upper-class girl."
Initial probe has confirmed that Amrutha's father Maruthi Rao and his brother Sravan are the masterminds behind the killing. The duo was detained by the police on Saturday. Two other people involved in the killing have also been detained. The main attacker is still absconding. The police have learnt that Maruthi Rao gave the attacker 10 lakh for the murder.
During the interrogation, Rao said that Pranay and Amrutha were in a relationship with each other since class IX and during intermediate, they even allegedly ran away. He said that he was successful in getting Amrutha back home and also spared Pranay by not filing a case against him.
"I tried to convince her several times, but she did not listen to me. I am more concerned about my status in the society than my daughter. I am not worried about killing Pranay. I was prepared to go to jail and planned the murder," Maruthi said during the investigation, reported The New Indian Express.
"Father asked to abort the baby"
During the investigation, it was also found that Maruthi also tried to bribe Dr Jyoti, the gynaecologist who was treating Amrutha. Reports suggest that he offered a huge amount of money in exchange for aborting Amrutha's child.
"I have no intention of aborting my baby. Pranay's baby is my future," Amrutha said while breaking down in tears. "Pranay was such a nice person. He looked after me so well, especially after I became pregnant. I don't know why caste is so important in this time and age," she added, reported NDTV.
She also said that her family never accepted their relationship as they belonged to the Vysya caste (caste Hindu) and Pranay belonged to Madiga Scheduled Caste. She further said that her family had been in touch with her over the last few days. She even wished her parents on the occasion of Vinayaka Chaturthi, a day before the crime was committed.
She feels that her family was in touch with her only because they wanted to know about her whereabouts. Reportedly, her father had filed multiple fake cases against Pranay before too to harass him. She says she will never go back to her family and will stay with Pranay's parents.
Tamil Nadu witnessed a gruesome incident of honour killing on March 13, 2016, in which a 22-year-old Dalit engineering graduate was hacked to death in public by three men. Sankar, the Dalit youth was married to Kausalya, a 21-year-old belonging to the socially dominant Thevar(OBC) community. Her mother did not approve of their marriage.
Kausalya got married to Sankar against the wishes of her parents. They were married for eight months before the fateful night of the murder. Kausalya's parents tried a lot and even moved the court to separate the couple. But, nothing was fruitful. Then they hatched a plan to murder him.
After 21 months of intense struggle, on December 12, 2017, the Principal District and Sessions court in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, handed over the death sentence to six persons, including the father-in-law of the deceased.
The Logical Indian take
This is the 21st century. How many more innocent people need to lose their lives before we as a society end this prolonged menace of caste? The father of the girl did not care about his daughter and his daughter's unborn child because for him "society" is more important. What kind of society is this which encourages a person to make his own unborn grandchild fatherless?
We sincerely hope that people stop seeing the invisible veil of caste or creed and start using their judgement and logic to determine what is right and wrong.