HYDERABAD -- The case relating to the disappearance of a Dalit youth in Telangana took a dramatic turn on Saturday as police arrested his father-in-law and another relative for his murder.
Police said Amboji Naresh (23), who was missing since May 1, was killed by Tummala Srinivas Reddy, who was unhappy over his daughter marrying a youth from another caste. Reddy, who had called his daughter Swathi Tummala (20) and son-in-law from Mumbai with a promise to accept their marriage, allegedly murdered Naresh and burned the body in his fields in Lingarajupally village of Yadadri district.
Reddy, who was being questioned by police for nearly two weeks, confessed to the crime and said that he took the help of his relative N. Sathi Reddy to kill Naresh, burn his body and throw the ashes in the Musi river.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat told reporters on Saturday evening that both the accused had been arrested. Bhagwat said they committed the murder on the night of May 2. The accused spotted Naresh near their house and chased him on their bike. They caught him and took him to Srinivas Reddy's agricultural fields.
The police chief said when Sathi Reddy was talking to Naresh, Srinivas Reddy hit the latter on his head with an iron rod, leading to his death. The two accused burned the body and the next day collected the ashes and threw them in the river. The Police Commissioner said that Sathi Reddy damaged the mobile phone of Naresh.
Swathi Tummala (20) allegedly committed suicide at her parents' house on 16 May, in a tragic end to a love story and an inter-caste marriage between the two childhood friends. The couple had eloped in March and married in Mumbai against the wishes of Swathi's father.
Srinivas Reddy, who comes from an upper caste, had also filed a dowry case against Naresh and his parents. Naresh's father had approached the Hyderabad High Court, seeking direction to police to trace his missing son. Amboji Venkataiah suspected that Swathi's father was behind his son's disappearance. Swathi allegedly ended her life a couple of days before she was to appear in the court in connection with the disappearance case.
On 18 May, the court had directed police to probe the disappearance and submit a report on June 1. The Rachakonda Police Commissioner had appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police Venkateshwar Rao to head the investigations. He had constituted five search teams and announced a Rs 50,000 reward to anyone providing information about Naresh.