Over 500 members of the Arya Vysya Samaj on Monday went to the district jail in Nalgonda to express their solidarity with T Maruthi Rao, who is accused of killing his daughter’s Dalit husband, The Indian Express reported. The Vysya Samaj Joint Action Committee claimed that the couple had provoked Rao by posting photos of them hugging each other on social media.
On September 14, Perumalla Pranay, a Dalit man, was hacked to death in Nalgonda in front of his pregnant wife Amrutha, who belongs to an upper-caste family. A day after the murder, Amrutha blamed her father for the killing.
Rao allegedly hired Pranay’s killer, the newspaper reported. The couple had eloped and got married in January.
Unidentified police officials speculated that Rao allegedly killed Pranay under “peer pressure” from the community to “do something to salvage his honour.”
The Vysya Samaj Joint Action Committee claimed that several politicians were trying to benefit from Rao’s situation. “Some organisations are trying to make money,” Oruganti Ramulu, head of the committee told The Indian Express. “They are also berating our community and Rao’s family. Rao’s wife and other family members are traumatised and we are trying to give them moral support.”
Bhupati Raju, a member of the committee, said three of the over 500 people from their community were allowed to meet Rao for a short while.
In Miryalaguda town, the recently formed Parents’ Rights Protection Platform protested a proposal pitched by Scheduled Caste organisations and Pranay’s family to install his statue at Shakuntala Talkies.
Five days after the Nalgonda killing, another newly married couple was attacked, allegedly by the woman’s father, in Hyderabad. Madhavi, who is from an upper-caste family, had married Sandeep a week ago against her family’s wishes. Madhavi’s father was arrested.