The Telangana Police have taken into custody three people in connection with the killing of a 23-year-old Dalit man in Nalgonda district’s Miryalaguda in a case of alleged honour killing, The Times of India reported on Sunday.

Perumalla Pranay was hacked to death on Friday in front of his pregnant wife Amrutha, who belongs to an upper caste family, while they were leaving a hospital. The couple eloped and got married in January as Amrutha’s family was against the relationship.

According to police, Amrutha’s father, T Maruti Rao, and uncle Sravan Kumar were among the three detained on Saturday, The New Indian Express reported. Nalgonda Police said Rao, who is a realtor, had given an advance of Rs 5 lakh to professional killers to murder Pranay.

Nalgonda Superintendent of Police AV Ranganath told The Hindu that he had warned Rao earlier against troubling the couple. “...but we didn’t expect this extreme step,” he said. “It is a classic case of honour killing.”

Pranay’s mother Premalatha told The Wire that the family was aware of Pranay being under threat “as he had married an upper caste and upper class girl.” “We were frightened by the sudden attack,” she said. “We tried to fight, but we feared for our own lives as well.”

A day after the murder, Amrutha alleged that her father was responsible for the killing. “It’s only my father who is capable of doing this,” The News Minute quoted her as saying. “He had told me multiple times that he would kill him as I did not obey his wishes.”

Amrutha also told Sakshi TV that her father and uncle were behind the crime and that they had warned Pranay previously.

The police have intensified security in Miryalaguda town as several Dalit organisations organised protests demanding justice for Pranay’s family. State SC/ST Commission chairman Srinivas also visited Pranay’s family.