Dalit youth killed in alleged hate-crime by in-laws in Andhra’s Kurnool
A 30-year-old Dalit youth was killed in broad day light in Adoni town of Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district in an alleged hate crime by his in-laws on Thursday, the police said.
The deceased was identified as Adam Smith, resident of the RTC colony in the town. When returning home, he had stopped midway to buy a cake for the New Year celebrations, when two persons waylaid him and attacked him with iron rods and boulders, said police.
“They smashed his head with a big boulder and left the place only after ensuring that he had died on the spot,” Adoni circle inspector of police P Sriramulu said.
On Friday, the police took the victim’s father-in-law Chinna Eeranna and uncle Pedda Eeranna into custody following a complaint from his 25-year-old wife. “We are questioning them, before formally arresting and producing them before the court,” the inspector said.
According to Sriramulu, Smith, belonging to Gurajala village of Nandavaram block, had married the woman of the same village six weeks ago at an Arya Samaj temple in Adoni, against her parents’ wishes. Smith was a Dalit Christian and the woman hails from Kuruva community, an OBC caste.
While Smith had been working as a physiotherapist in Adoni, Maheshwari, who had completed her graduation, was preparing for bank recruitment tests. “Both had been in love with each other for the last eight years, but kept their parents in dark,” the police said.
In November, when the woman’s parents fixed her marriage with another person of the same caste, she disclosed her love affair with Smith to her parents, who did not agree for the marriage as he hailed from the Dalit community.
Having no other option, the woman left her home and got married to Smith at an Arya Samaj Mandir in Adoni on November 12. A furious Eeranna allegedly threatened to kill Smith for marrying his daughter against his wishes. “The couple approached the police authorities, who called her parents and brought about a compromise,” Sriramulu said.
Subsequently, the newly-wed couple took a house on rent in Adoni and had been living there. “Since the police had counselled my parents, we thought we wouldn’t have any trouble from them and didn’t expect such a ghastly act,” the woman said in the complaint to the police.
The police booked a case of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, besides under SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.