HYDERABAD: Chinta Yoga Hemanth Kumar, who was murdered in cold blood on Thursday, and Dontireddy Avanti lived in the same locality in Chandanagar and knew each other for over a decade. They fell in love and were in a relationship for four years till they got married on June 11 at the Sub-Registrar’s Office in Quthbullapur. Soon after, they went into hiding and once they received their marriage registration certificate, the couple approached Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar seeking protection.
Sajjanar directed them to the Chandanagar police station, citing jurisdiction, and instructed the personnel there to counsel Hemanth and Avanti’s families. When the couple and their families were summoned to the police station, Avanti was allowed to speak to her parents for around three hours. She later informed the police that she would live with her husband and his family, and that they were facing a threat from her people.
Avanti made to give up her share of family assets
Prior to this, when the couple had eloped, Avanti’s parents had lodged a missing persons complaint at the Chandanagar police station. But as soon as the couple received their marriage certificate, Avanti’s parents took her to the registrar offices at Shankarpally, Kondapur and Kandi, police investigation has revealed. They made her sign sale deeds, stating that she has given her share of the family’s assets, properties and businesses back to them and would never stake claim to these. This process was completed in a week.
Hemanth’s father Murali Krishna said the family might have been worried that she would claim her share in future, especially after the Supreme Court’s recent judgement on giving share to daughters, whatever the case may be. However, Avanti said her family never contacted her ever since she married Hemanth. When they got to know of her relationship with him, they forced her to quit her job, took away her mobile phone and confined her at home, she alleged.
Police investigation further revealed that Avanti’s family had considered giving her a hefty sum to leave Hemanth. They had even offered him a huge amount but he refused to take the money. On Sunday, her parents Laxma Reddy and Archana, and uncle Yugandhar Reddy decided to kill Hemanth. Yugandhar, along with three contract killers, drove away with Hemanth towards Zaheerabad. Yugandhar tried to offer him money to leave Avanti, but Hemanth stood his ground. Though Avanti’s parents were not physically involved in the killing, they were following up the situation over phone.
Cops harass Hemanth’s dad
During questioning, the police harassed Hemanth’s parents, his father Murali Krishna has alleged. “They would call me to the police station every day, take my mobile phone and make me wait till evening. I would stand at the police station all day and return home in the evening,” he said.
The personnel were harsh and rude to him during questioning. “The friendly policing that we hear and read about was nowhere to be seen. I am witness to this. I think Avanti’s parents, being richer than us, have influenced the police to act in their favour and harass us. They think their money can do anything and buy anything. Even now, their confidence to do anything with money has made them kill my son, without any fear for the police, the law or the strict punishments. It is our misfortune that the law supports such killers, while people like us suffer in silence,” the father said.
Meanwhile, Avanti said she had hoped that her family would take her back. “Four days ago, when my uncle Vijayender spoke to me and enquired about my well-being, I was happy. I was happy that my family was starting to accept me, but I never imagined that they would kill Hemanth and destroy our lives. Had I known that my family is so inhuman, I would have died at my home itself, without marrying Hemanth,” she said.
Honour killings in Telangana
June 2020: 55-yr-old Gondigalla Galaiah was brutally murdered at Narayanpur in Bhongir district, after his son eloped with a girl from the same community. As the couple could not be traced, the girl’s family killed the boy’s father. The case is being investigated.
June 2020: A couple killed their minor daughter at Shantinagar in Jogulamba-Gadwal district, after she fell in love with a boy from another caste and got pregnant with his child.
October 2018: Gaddi Kumar, a youngster, was found murdered in a cotton field in his village at Shankarapatnam in Karimnagar district. His girlfriend’s family members have been arrested and the case is in the pending trial.
March 2018: Perumalla Pranay was killed in broad daylight in Miryalaguda town of Nalgonda district, when he accompanied his pregnant wife Amrutha to hospital. Contract killers employed by Amrutha’s father T Maruthi Rao hacked Pranay to death. Two years later, Maruti died by suicide in Hyderabad. The Nalgonda police, who had already filed a charge sheet, informed the court before the trial could begin that the accused died.
May 2017: Naresh Amboji was charred to death by his wife Swathi Reddy’s family. After Naresh’s murder, Swathi hanged herself at her parents’ place. The case is pending trial.
April 2017: Manthani Madhukar was found dead under suspicious circumstances in a lake near his home in Peddapalli. Following honor killing allegations, his family moved the HC and a re-postmortem was ordered.