HYDERABAD/NALGONDA: Two days after the sensational honour killing in Miryalguda, Pranay's widow Amruthavarshini alleged that her father T Maruthi Rao had contacted TRS Nakrekal MLA Vemula Veeresham to get her back home. She even claimed that the MLA took money to help her father in executing Pranay's brutal murder in broad daylight.
The police, however, have said that so far there is no evidence to suggest the role of the legislator even as they assured that none will be spared.
The investigators are also learnt to have taken into custody four more persons, some with political links and the Nalgonda district police is expected to formally announce the arrest of Maruthi Rao and other accused, most of whom are said to be in police custody. Police have also ruled out any connection between the murder and slain gangster Nayeem.
“It is true that Maruthi Rao approached the MLA, seeking help. Veeresham, in a firm tone, told the couple and Pranay’s parents that the girl’s parents’ permission was needed as it’s an inter-caste marriage.
“Maruthi Rao approached every leader he knew, across political parties. But it is his personal issue and cannot be given a political colour. So far there is no evidence against the MLA in this aspect,” said AV Ranganath, Superintendent of Police Nalgonda.
According to the SP, Rao hired contract killers. “The accused involved in the conspiracy and execution has no political affiliation and none of them are associated or were associated with Nayeem’s gang,” he said adding that the case is still under investigation. Though Maruthi Rao, his brother Sravan and five others are already in police custody, a formal arrest is yet to be announced.
According to investigating officials, Maruthi Rao has reportedly confessed that the deal was finalised for Rs 1 crore. He also admitted that previously in a land dispute he was kidnapped by a former terror suspect Mohmmed Abdul Bari, but later they entered into a compromise.
“Two months ago, Maruthi Rao approached Bari to kill Pranay and as per plan Pranay was killed,” police sources said. Karim, Miryalaguda Town Congress unit president, who resides near Pranay’s home kept updating the killers about Pranay’s movements.
“For now it is clear that Maruthi Rao from the beginning was against his daughter’s inter-caste marriage and was of an opinion that she will come back to him, if her husband is killed. With a pre-planned motive, Rao made her believe him and betrayed her” Ranganath added.
MLA Veeresham calls allegations baseless
However, Amruthavarshini alleged that MLA Veeresham influenced Kethupally police and got a case registered against Pranay’s father soon after their marriage in January.
“They also threatened to book cases against Pranay for harassing women. Unable to bear the harassment, we approached IG Stephen Ravindra, who directed us to then SP Srinivas,” she said. “My father has influence in the town, but he alone cannot arrange someone to murder a person. I strongly believe Veeresham took money from my father and arranged killers to murder Pranay. My uncle Bharath Kumar and my father’s friend Gudur Seenu are also involved in this,” concluded Amruthavarshini.
Reacting to the allegations, MLA Veeresham said that he himself was married into an inter-caste marriage and asked how can he oppose another such marriage.
“I never met or called Pranay or his father Balaswamy, nor forced any false cases against Balaswamy at Ketheypally police station. Though Maruthi Rao, invited me for a function, I could not attend. Even after I never met him and he also never contacted me. I have seen and heard of Amruthavarshini and Pranay for the first time on television.” Veersham said speaking to Express.
Sharing more details, Ranganath said after their marriage on January 30 at Hyderabad, Maruthi Rao lodged a missing complaint at Miryalaguda town police station. In March, the couple came back to the town and approached the DSP Miryalaguda, stating they are facing a threat from the girl’s parents. Immediately, Rao was called and counselled. Since then, series of counsellings took place for both parties and everything seemed to be well.
“We thought that families that fight in the beginning in such marriages, get compromised. However we kept regularly alerting the couple and kept a watch on Rao also. As a preventive measure, we also advised that CC cameras are installed at Pranay’s residence.” Ranganath said. Meanwhile, Amruthavarshini was also in regular contact with her parents and even told police that they were in good terms.