Students and civil society groups condemn the killing of Nagaraju and warn against vested interests
The Dalit Students Union (DSU), in its brief statement of condolences, said that it is the Dalits who become the victims regardless of the perpetrators.
Telangana for Peace and Unity (TPU), a collective platform of individuals representing different civil society groups, condemned the brutal murder of Billipuram Nagaraju (26) in Hyderabad. Nagaraju, a Dalit man who belonged to the Mala community (scheduled caste community), was beaten and stabbed to death in full public view in the city for his marriage to a Muslim woman Syed Ashrin Sultana.
The incident happened on May 4 around 9 p.m. The footage of the murder has sparked outrage among sections of society who are seeking tough action against the accused. The police arrested two men: Syed Mobin Ahmed, Sultana’s brother, and Mohammed Masood Ahmed. A murder case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and SC/ST Atrocity Prevention Act provisions.
The couple got married in January this year to Arya Samaj in Hyderabad. Condemning the murder and demanding strict legal action against the accused, the collective issued an appeal for community friendship. The statement released by TPU said: “TPU conveys our deepest condolences to the birth family of the deceased as well as to his partner Syed Ashrin Sultana, who suffered tremendous suffering.”
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TPU also said that the state has witnessed a steady increase in the number of murders of Dalit men who marry outside their caste or religion. TPU said: “Consenting adults have a constitutional right to enter into a relationship, regardless of caste or religion. However, the bride’s families in several cases have attacked and even killed the groom who is from a marginalized caste, often a Dalit community. This is a flagrant violation of both the right to life and liberty of the person or persons belonging to the oppressed caste, as well as serious gender-based violence against the woman exercising her free arbitrator to marry a person of his choice. »
Against the backdrop of a section of groups trying to stoke community passion, the TPU warned ‘vested interests’ not to use this unfortunate incident to further their community agendas. The TPU statement, which was endorsed by no less than 34 prominent figures from various faiths and streams of activism, said: “With a strong commitment to preserving communal harmony in Telangana, calls on all sections to maintain peace and to cooperate with law enforcement to hold perpetrators accountable.
The Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and the Dalit Students Union (DSU) of Hyderabad University also expressed their solidarity with Nagaraju’s family and said they were committed to consolidating the anti-caste struggles.
In a detailed statement, the ASA said: “We would like to remind them (the Hindu forces) of their silence on the end of cases of caste killings by caste Hindus. In 2018, Maruthi Rao allegedly ordered the killing of Pranay because that his daughter Amrutha married a Dalit against her will. Caste Hindus rallied in support of the killers. We must remember that this is not a polarized Hindu-Muslim issue as it is often portrayed. It’s a question of caste Nagaraju was killed not because he was a Hindu but because he was a Dalit, this kind of reductive binary tries to unify the so-called Hindu withdrawal against other religions while There is nothing called Unified Hinduism.
“We must remember what Babasaheb Ambedkar said, ‘Hinduism is not a religion, it is a conglomeration of castes,’ the statement said. The ASA further stated that Nagaraju’s murder is the latest in a series of caste killings that have taken place (Gokulraj, Pranay, Ilavarasan and Shankar.) He pointed out that all of these men were killed allegedly by caste Hindu families from their partners to marry above their caste.
The Memorandum of Understanding, in its brief statement of condolences, said that it is the Dalits who become the victims, whoever the perpetrators. The students, while demanding justice for the wife of the deceased, said, “How long should this Dalit society be victimized? On the one hand by the dominant castes and on the other hand by the dominant religious chauvinism. Now the Manuvadam (caste system) is not only confined to the Hindu religion but established in all other religions with more force.
Stating that Nagaraju’s murder signifies the influence of inhumane practice throughout the subcontinent, cutting across all religions and communities, the ASA said, “The practice of caste goes against the virtue of humanity and is an inhuman and cruel practice that has eroded the fabric of Indian society. Therefore, it is the duty of all democratic forces to unite against these chauvinistic caste killings and other forms of atrocities.”