Telangana: Couple held for allegedly killing daughter in Gadwal district

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Hyderabad: A couple has been arrested in Telangana’s Jogulamba Gadwal district for allegedly killing their 20-year-old daughter for being in a relationship with a man from a lower caste and for refusing to terminate her pregnancy.

Bhaskar Shetty and Veeramma from Shantinagar village were arrested on Monday for allegedly suffocating their daughter with pillows a day earlier and trying to pass it off as a natural death due to heart attack, police officials said on Tuesday.

Police officials, who got a tip-off from their neighbours, took them into custody and sent the body for an autopsy on Monday.

“The post-mortem revealed that she died of suffocation. We arrested the couple and produced them before the court, which remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days,” police inspector J Venkateshwarlu told reporters.

According to police, the woman belonged to an upper caste and had been in a relationship with a man belonging to a caste among the Other Backward Classes (OBC). They reportedly met while she was pursuing her final year degree course in Kurnool district of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

After the imposition of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown in March, the woman returned to her village. When she did not have her periods, the parents grew suspicious and, on Saturday, they took her to a hospital, where it was confirmed she was pregnant.

“They tried to force her to undergo an abortion but she refused. They returned home and locked her up inside a room, fearing she might elope. In the early hours of Sunday, when she was in asleep, the parents entered the room and suffocated her using bed sheets and a pillow,” the inspector said.

On Sunday morning, the parents told neighbours that their daughter died in her sleep due to a heart attack. The panchayat secretary of the village, who grew suspicious, complained to police. The body was then sent for an autopsy, which revealed she died of suffocation.

“During interrogation, her parents confessed to the murder. They were worried her affair with a man from outside their caste would have an adverse effect on the future of their two other daughters,” Venkateshwarlu said.

Police initially registered a case of death in suspicious circumstances but altered it to a case of murder.

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