Social Issues

Status In Society More Important Than Daughter: Father of Amrutha Varshini

Yet another caste-hate crime.

The entirety of last week had Telangana reeling from a caste-hate crime where a 24-year-old Dalit Christian man, Pranay Perumalla, was hacked to death on Friday right after he and his wife, Amrutha Varshini, came out of a hospital after a regular check-up for her pregnancy in Miryalaguda.

Reportedly, the father of the girl, Maruthi Rao, a real estate developer and businessman, has said that his status in the society outweighs his concerns for his daughter. “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,” he had reportedly said.

Pranay and Amrutha met each other when they were in class 9 at Kakathiaya Concept School. Their friendship developed to love in college. Pranay belonged to a Dalit family, which is of the Mala caste, while Amrutha is of the Vaishya caste (a caste group categorised as Forward). Needless to say, both their families opposed their relationship, but while Pranay’s parents came around to it, Amrutha’s family continued to be vehemently against them. The two got married six months ago.

Pranay’s funeral was reportedly attended by thousands who shouted ‘Pranay amar rahe‘ and ‘Jai Bhim‘, slogans that were ringing with Dalit sentiments.

Pranay’s family have vowed to take care of Amrutha as their own daughter now. His mother told The News Minute:

“We will take care of her. We can’t leave her like that and she wants to be with us. If we deny her this, where will she go? We will take care of her baby as well and we will continue to fight legally. We want to make sure that the culprits are punished and justice is meted out.”

Amrutha was quoted speaking to local media, opening up about what her father used to tell her. “I am a single child and ever since I married Pranay in January this year, my father rarely spoke to me. When he did, he would only call and ask me to return home or terminate the pregnancy.”

The case of Pranay’s murder is eerily similar to the one endured by Kausalya Sankar. Two years ago, V Shankar was murdered for marrying Kausalya, a 19-year-old girl who hails from the backward caste of Agamudaiyar. He was hacked to death in broad day light in Udumalpet town, Tiruppur district, Tamil Nadu. She relentlessly fought for justice on her husband’s behalf, bringing her entire family before the law for their involvement in his killing.

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