Honour killing: Victims father loses hope


2 February 2023

HYDERABAD: Amboji Venkataiah, father of A. Naresh who was the victim of an alleged honour killing six years ago, said that the family had been worried about the investigation into the case right from the beginning. “The court acquitting the accused has taken away the little hope we had that justice would be done,” the family said.

The murder took place in May 2017 at Choutuppal in Yadadri Bhongir district. Naresh was allegedly killed by his wife’s upper caste family members. She had married Naresh, who belonged to a lower caste, though her family was against it. However, she died by suicide in her parents’ house some months later.

Her family members allegedly killed Naresh and disposed off his charred remains. The Rachakonda police arrested the girl’s father and cousin and claimed to have investigated the case in a scientific manner and collected strong evidence.

Naresh was first reported missing. The police later found that he had been killed. A sub-inspector was suspended for dereliction of duty and charge memos were issued to an inspector and another sub-inspector who were a part of the investigation in Naresh’s missing case.

Venkataiah, 54, said that if the police had taken up the matter seriously and investigated the case without bias, not just his son Naresh but also his daughter-in-law would have been alive.

Venkataiah said that from the time his son had gone missing in 2017, till the final verdict was announced in the case earlier this month, the family was making the rounds of police stations and the court. “Initially it was seeking my son’s safe return. After his murder was announced, we were seeking justice,” Venkataiah said.

The trial began six years after the incident. The Principal Sessions Court at Bhongir in a 82-page judgment recently concluded that “the prosecution (on behalf of the police) has failed to establish” its case. It said the evidence were not connected to the death of Naresh.

There were no eyewitnesses and the case depended on circumstantial evidence. The court said that the prosecution could only prove the accused had the motive to kill Naresh but little else.

“We lost my only son and our only hope. Even after he got married, we handed over the girl to her family with only hope that they would not harm him. But they killed him so brutally that we could not even see his body,” he claimed.

He said that he was waiting for the judgment copy. “ After getting it, I will consult our advocate and decide on further course of action,” Venkataiah said.

What the court said

Principal Sessions Court at Bhongir in a 82-page judgment says police did not use scientific methods of investigation

Investigation was not on proper lines.

Call data records, cell phones of Naresh and accused not produced in court as police misplaced them.

Police filed a report in this regard, but the mobile phones and the call data record ere not correlated

Call data record was not analysed to prove the location of Naresh in Bhongir or in the accused’s village Lingarajupally village, where he was allegedly killed.

Police seized charred bones which they said belonged to Naresh, based on the accused’s confession. DNA analysis did not biologically match the bones with Naresh’s parents.

“Police have made up their mind that the accused have murdered Naresh and the investigation was directed at proving this conclusion rather than the other way around with the investigation leading to a conclusion that the missing Naresh was murdered by the accused.”

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