Seven people were arrested Tuesday in the Indian state of Telangana in connection with the killing of a low-caste Christian man who married an upper-caste woman.
Pranay Kumar, 23, was reportedly hacked to death last Friday as he walked out of a hospital in the Nalgonda district with his pregnant wife, Amrutha Varshini.
Varshini belonged to the third-highest caste community in Hindu society, while Kumar is part of India’s low-ranking Dalit caste.
The couple was married in January. Amrutha’s father, Maruti Rao, was among the men arrested for Kumar’s murder. Nalgonda Police Chief A.V. Ranganath told the media that the murder appears to be a contract killing.
According to the Indian magazine The Week, police say that Rao was opposed to the marriage and conspired with others to kill Kumar. Rao was alleged to have paid an advance of about Rs 15 lakh, which is the equivalent of about $20,000, to carry out the murder.
Surveillance footage shows Kumar walking out of the hospital when an assailant, who was later identified as Subhash Kumar Sharma, attacked the victim from behind with a machete and got in at least two blows before fleeing the scene.
According to The Hindustan Times, local Congress leader Abdul Karim, suspected Islamic terrorist Asghar Ali, and Rao’s brother, Sravan, and driver Shiva were also arrested in connection with the murder.
Ali is accused of being connected with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Ali and his aid, Mohammad Bari, who was also arrested for the killing of Kumar, were both accused and acquitted previously for the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya in 2003.
According to police, Ali and Bari hired assassin Subhash Sharma from Bihar to carry out Kumar’s murder. Sharma was also arrested on Tuesday.
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Source: Christian Post