Minister’s personal assistant says girl is of ‘loose character’; police begin inquiry
An inter-caste couple in Krishnagiri have alleged that Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Balakrishna Reddy, who hails from the district, is trying to use the police to separate them at the behest of the girl’s father.
In a video released on Facebook, Anand, 29, and Pavithra, 23, both residents of B. Dasarapalli, alleged that Mr. Reddy had deployed police to trace them.
While the man is from the Naidu community, his wife is from the Reddy community. The two had eloped on October 31 and got married in a temple.
The couple, in the video posted in Telugu, alleged that their friends were picked up by the Bagalur police and beaten up at the station, to glean information about their whereabouts.
Stating that they had married of their own will, they said none of their friends was even aware of their plans. The couple alleged this hounding would only push them to suicide.
Fiat to SP
They had reached the office of Superintendent of Police in Dharmapuri, from where they were directed to the SP’s office in Krishnagiri, and again redirected to the DSP’s office in Hosur.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Meenakshi said the girl’s father had lodged a ‘missing’ complaint at the Bagalur police station and hence they were being questioned.
Asked about their allegations against the Minister, Ms.Meenakshi said she was not aware of any such interference.
On whether the couple would be extended protection, she said since the girl was a major, the police would ascertain whether she married Anand of her own will and take necessary action.
When The Hindu called up Mr. Reddy, his personal assistant answered the call. He claimed the couple was drunk when they made the video, adding that the girl was of “loose character.”
He promised to ask the Minister to call back once he was free. Mr Reddy had not called till the time of going to press.
Krishnagiri Superintendent of Police D.Mahesh Kumar, when asked why the couple was sent to Hosur DSP’s office, said, “There will be no interference and they will not escalate the matter.”
The Hindu was unable to reach the couple over phone, since they were still under inquiry at the DSP’s office.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had while coming down on ‘honour’ killings issued stringent guidelines to all state governments that included setting up of safe houses to protect couples facing threats from khaps for solemnising inter-caste marriages.
It had directed establishment of safe houses under the direct supervision of the District Magistrate or the Superintendent of Police in the districts.