‘Hold Parents Responsible’: Caste Killing Victim in Old Video
“If something happens to us, the police should hold the sarpanch and my parents responsible,” she said.
“If something happens to us, the police should hold the sarpanch and my parents responsible.” These were the words of 22-year-old Anuradha more than two months before she was allegedly killed by her family in Telangana for marrying a man from a different caste. A video clip of Anuradha a resident of Kalamadugu of Dandepalli mandal in Mancherial district has now surfaced two days after her murder.
In the 1.44-minute-long video clip that was shot on 4 October by Anuradha herself, she says, “My name is Anuradha, my village is Kalamadugu. I loved a person called Laxman. Six months ago, I wanted to reveal our relationship to my parents and convince them to get us married. But they didn't agree.” Instead, Anuradha says, her parents forced her to file a false case against Laxman under IPC section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
She, however, adds, “But I'm not able to forget him. I need him. I want to share my life only with him. That's why I want to go far away from home and marry him.”
“But in case on the way or after we go away, if we both face any trouble, my father and my village sarpanch should be held responsible. If we face any problem, police based on this video as evidence should save us.”
“I’m recording this video on 4 October 2018. I love him a lot, please save us.”
Laxman, a BTech student who belongs to the Padmashali or weaver community categorsied as Backward Class (BC) and Anuradha, who is training to be a teacher and belonged to the Yadava community, also classified as BC, got married on December 5 in an Arya Samaj ceremony in Hyderabad.
Following their wedding, the newly weds had on December 22 sought protection from the Jannaram police as they had to visit the village to attend the hearing of the case that had been filed against Laxman.
However, after the hearing when the police had left, Anuradha’s family went to Laxman’s house, where they forcefully took her away. Jannaram SHO, said, "After the couple returned to Kalamadugu following their marriage, the groom, Laxman posted a provocative video challenging Anuradha's parents on WhatsApp. Outraged by the video, Anuradha's father, uncles and cousins came to Laxman's home armed at around 6.30 pm on Saturday."
He added, "After attacking Laxman, they forcefully took Anuradha away to their home. However, her mother apparently disowned her.”
Police say her cousins Swamy and Kumar then took Anuradha to a field in Mallapur village in Nirmal district, where she was killed. Her body was then allegedly burnt and her remains then dumped into a stream.
Kalamadugu Sarpanch, B Ramesh, who was named by Anuradha in her video and who also belongs to the Yadava community denied any role in the caste killing. He told TNM, "I got involved in their feud once, when the girl's parents filed a case against the boy. This was the only instance where I got involved. They got married three months after this. I don't know what happened later."
Speaking to TNM, Mancherial DCP Venugopala Rao that they are investigating the role of Sarpanch in the crime. “The girl’s parents, cousins, maternal uncle and paternal uncle have already been named in the FIR. We will remand them today (Monday),” he added.
Police have filed an FIR against eight people including the parents of Anuradha — Sattena and Laxmi under IPC Section 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon). According to Jannaram police, Anuradha's cousin's Swamy and Kumar are mainly responsible for killing Anuradha. All eight accused have been arrested.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)
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