Hyderabad: Violence over inter-caste marriages has touched its peak in Telangana. The murder at Miryalguda, where 25-year-old Dalit boy Pranay Kumar was hacked to death for marrying an upper caste girl, sent shock waves across the state. The Hyderabad police are on edge once again, following the brutal attack on a married couple Madhavi, 20, and Sandeep, 23, at Erragadda on Wednesday.
The curse of caste and religion ensures that couples in inter-faith and inter-caste marriages often face societal ostracisation or worse. Not content with disowning the couple, families resort to violence and murder to avenge some mythical sense of honour.
Though the union ministry of state for social justice and empowerment has decreed police protection for those entering into inter-caste marriages, couples don’t seek or are not provided such protection.
Following the killing at Miryalguda, a couple from Vijayawada fearing they too would be victims, approached the Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh, for police protection.
“We have been in love for eight years and got married in July. Our parents and relatives have been threatening us since we married. Deepthi’s family has a close association with higher officials in the police, and we fear they may attack us,” said Vijay Kumar who sought police protection. The couple alleged that the Kadapa district police were tracing their whereabouts.
The Supreme Court says no one can obstruct an inter-caste marriage. “If two adults get married by consent, whatever be their caste, religion or gotra, no one can interfere in such a marriage, neither the relatives nor panchayats,” the SC has said clearly.
The top court in a direction to the Centre said, the states should be directed to ensure that no person or assembly of persons or family members shall harass, torture, subject to violence, threaten, intimidate or harm any couple wishing to get married by their own choice.
Recently the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramadas Athawale said police protection would be provided for those entering into inter-caste marriages.