Fact Finding Report On the honor killing of a Dalit youth in Miryalguda town of Telangana state of India.

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Fact Finding Report

On the honour killing of a Dalit youth in Miryalguda town of Telangana state of India.

Now it has become a trend in India to support the criminals, where Dalits and Muslims are victims.

Upper caste hegemony clearly reflects in this case.



A fact finding team of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee comprising Lateef Mohammed Khan, Aishala Srinivas and Nikhat Fatima visited Miryalguda town of Nalgonda District of Telangana state of India on its fact finding mission on Pranay Kumar’s assassination. It should be remind that a dalit youth was brutally killed by the upper caste hindu Maruti Rao to express his dissatisfaction on the marriage of his daughter Pramila with a dalit youth Pranay. Team met the Permulla Balaswamy, the father of the Pranay , Pramila the wife of pranay and other family members and local activists and media persons and enquire about the circumstances and situation under which a Dalit youth was hacked to death in broad daylight outside of a hospital.

Miryalguda is a town in with a population of more then 1,09,891 in which approximately 35000 are belongs to dalit community. Government of India announced Miryalaguda to be developed under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation scheme. Pranay’s family lives in Muthireddy Kunta in a well-furnished duplex house where the Fact finding committee went. Balaswamy is a LIC employee while Premlatha, his wife is a home maker. They have 2 sons and Pranay Kumar was the eldest of the three..

Facts of the case:

On 14th of September, Friday, Pranay, 23 years his wife Amrutha, 21 years and Pranay’s mother Pramalatha had gone to a maternity hospital for a check up as Amrutha is pregnant. As they were walking out of the hospital an unknown assailant came up from behind and hacked Pranay to death striking two fatal blows on each side of his neck. Pranay died on the spot. While Amrutha fell down unconscious. The unknown assailant was caught on the camera but escaped from the spot.

Balaswamy told this committee, “I knew Maruthi Rao, Amrutha’s father would do some mischief but I never imagined that he would kill my son. I was always fearful that he would harm me because I accepted their marriage and even arranged for a reception. But Maruthi Rao killed my son instead. From day one he did not accept my son as his son in law. “

Initially even Pranay’s family were against this relationship because of the fear of the castes. Pranay was a Dalit Christian from the Mala caste while Amrutha varshini belonged to the Vaisya (traders) community which is an upper caste.

But the couple were so much in love and nothing could stop them. Balaswamy told us that the children were ‘good friends’ right from their school days. Amrutha was his junior by 2 years. And later when they were pursuing their higher studies in Hyderabad they decided for marriage but in 2017 the families learnt of their relationship.

Amrutha’s father, Maruthi Rao, a real estate developer and owner of several properties was against his only daughter’s affair and kept her confined in the house for nearly 6 months. Pranay’s father also advised his son not to marry an upper caste girl because of fear that upper caster family will not tolerate this marriage. But got married in a Arya Samaj mandir in Hyderabad in the month of January 2018. Pranay’s parents relented and helped the couple settle by renting out a villa for them in Hyderabad and furnishing it. They even arranged a reception for them when they learnt that Amrutha was expecting.

It was a grand affair and the videos and pictures that Amrutha posted on her face book page were like scenes from a fairy tale. The video and pictures were viral with thousands of likes and shares. And perhaps Maruthi Rao also saw these videos which fuming him further.

The plan for Murder:

According to the local sources Maruthi Rao personally knew Mohammed Bari, who resided in Nalgonda which is around 60 kilometres from Miryalaguda. Bari and Maruthi Rao knew each other from the last few years. And Bari had a criminal past. When Maruti told him of the plan to bump off Pranay, Bari contacted his friends in crime and a deal was struck for Rs.1 crore as per the police.

The others arrested in the case are Subash Sharma, who was with Bari in a prison and is the person who hacked Pranay; Asghar Ali, who was one of the accused in the murder of Hiren Pandya, former Home Minister of Gujrat, Abdul Kareem, a transport operator and also a friend of Maruti Rao, Sravan, a relative of Maruti and Shiva, Maruti’s driver. And of course Maruti Rao himself who is the main accused in the case. Before one month of killing of Pranay the hired contract killer Sharma who is from Bihar was brought to Miryalgudda and familiarised with the town. Balaswamy, Pranay’s father said, “ It is a planned murder and the killer was such an expert he did his job swiftly and fled from the scene.”

He also said that he has seen the FIR and the sections under which the 7 accused are booked under 302 (Murder), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 120b (Party to a criminal conspiracy) read with 109 (Abetment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Amrutha’s stand:

Amrutha, now very frail and tired due to the constant appearances on various channels and pestered by all the newspapers was suffering from severe cough. She is now 5 months pregnant and is with her in-laws. One can see the dark circles under her eyes and the sad forlorn look in her eyes as she sleeps in a room adorned with pictures of Pranay and herself. But she speaks with determination and demanded in firm voice that her father should be punished for killing of her husband and her father is behind the murder just to satisfy his caste supremacy.

Support for Pranay:

On the day of the funeral which was on Sunday and also before that there were hordes of people from different religions and castes visiting the family to show their solidarity? The youth groups were especially charged and vowed to fight along side the family till justice is delivered.

Dalit groups and activists all came to offer condolences and demand for justice. There was chanting of slogans that said, ‘Pranay amar rahe’ and ‘Long live Dalit unity’ and even ‘Laal salaam’. When the funeral procession was taken from the church there were tens of thousands people present

Support for Maruti:

However there was another group of upper caste people who felt the murder was justified.

The people from Vaishya community who took out a rally in Nalgonda District with banners that said, ‘We support Maruti Rao’.Even they started campaign on social media and addressing press confrences.

But we can see several groups and individuals hailing from upper castes being vocal about their support to Maruti. They have posed questions such as, “ Will you accept/ be quiet if your daughter marries a man from low caste?”

“Does it not hurt the parents who bring up their daughters/ sons with so much of love to see them go against their wishes and marry a person of low caste?”

There have been some who felt aghast when Amrutha spoke on the TV accusing her father and saying that she wants him to be punished.



Statue for Pranay:

Pranay has become a martyr for the Dalit community and all others who believe inter caste marriage. His untimely death for being a Dalit has caused outrage and at the same time made him a hero. The youth groups and also others want a statue of Pranay erected in their town.

But as soon as the upper caste people got wind of this plan, they began protesting and even wrote to the government officials not to grant permission for a statue to be built.



Will justice be done?

Although there are visitors every day to meet the parents of Pranay and offer them support, Balaswamy says the accused may get a bail in a month or two and after that the case may prolong for years together. Will we get justice? .



Findings:

1. Upper caste hegemony clearly reflects in this case. It is a fact that in this era of 21st century the caste is the base of Hindu society in India. It is also a fact that the mind-set of upper caste people not changed. Upper caste people still believe caste is an honour for them and they strongly believe that Dalits are untouchables and maintaining relation with a Dalit community is against their dignity.

2. Pranay’s murder is a planned cold blooded murder as the main conspirator is Maruthi Rao and Maruti Rao hatched the conspiracy to kill the Pranay in well planned manner just maintain his dignity and he is feeling proud on this killing.

3. In this case upper caste Vaishya community united and supporting a criminal act by conducting rallies, press conference and by using social media. Now it has become a trend in India to support the criminals, where dalits and Muslims are victims.

4. Maruthi Rao is a millionaire but Pranay’s family is also well to do and in a position to provide all luxuries and comforts to Amrutha. Hence it was not about class but caste.

5. The hired killers have criminal records and were confident that they would be out on bail in due course.

6. It was the confidence that even if caught they wont be convicted that made the main accused Maruti plan this murder



Demands:

Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee demands to constitute a special investigative team SIT for investigation and form a special fast track court for the case trail in Hyderabad city so that free and fair trail can be done . Respect the will and wish of pranays wife for building up a statue and formation of trust in the name of her husband. Grant ex gratia to the family of Bala swami and Pranay's wife and provide the govt gob to the brother of Bala swami and wife of pranay. CLMC also demands to take firm action against those who supporting the killing.



Lateef Mohd Khan

G. Secretary. CLMC

Posted on Oct 06, 18 | 6:29 am