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Andhra girl killed in US

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By G.S. RADHAKRISHNA in Hyderabad
  • Published 24.06.04

Hyderabad, June 24: Still reeling from the shock of Ravuri Srilakshmi's killing inside an examination hall on Monday, Vijayawada has been rocked by news of the murder of another girl.

Divya, 21, was hacked into three pieces, which were then packed into three suitcases and dumped as garbage on June 13.

The grisly murder took place not in Vijayawada, but in Herdon city near Dallas international airport in Virginia.

Divya’s parents Satyanarayana and Krishna Kumari and her sister Dipti allege that she was murdered by her husband K. Praveen Kumar for more dowry.

Praveen, a software engineer, was caught by police in Virginia yesterday. He was at first admitted to a local hospital after being found unconscious in a minor road accident on a highway. But on being alerted that he was wanted for a murder, the police headed back to the hospital to question him.

The police said they took Praveen to his house at a three-floor complex near Dallas airport. They chanced upon a garbage pick-up van and found pieces of Divya’s body packed in suitcases her husband was said to have dumped. Praveen confessed to having suffocated Divya to death with pillows and used an axe saw and a cutter to drain the blood and cut the body.

The police had been looking for Praveen after the Middleburg Bank complained that Divya, who worked there, had not reported for duty for three days. But he was missing.

Divya’s dental x-rays and blood smears at the scene of crime were being matched to identify the body, the police said. Praveen, who has been incarcerated in a local jail, has been provided legal assistance by the Indian embassy.

Divya’s parents are regretting having married both their daughters into the same family — younger daughter Dipti married Praveen’s brother Rajesh but was sent home within six months for more dowry. Rajesh, who runs an Internet cafe here, has gone underground after news of Divya’s death emerged.

Dipti said she had been in constant touch with her sister over the Internet. “My sister sent me an email on June 11 explaining how she has been a victim of sadism of her husband. He does not allow her to sleep more than two hours and expects her to be awake throughout the night,” Dipti said.

The National Commission for Women has begun a probe into Srilakshmi’s killing inside Vijayawada’s Sarada college on Monday. The panel has said lapses on the part of the college management and police resulted in Srilakshmi’s murder by classmate Y. Manohar, who had been suspended but was still able to enter a classroom meant for examination students.

“There were no lapses on the part of… Srilakshmi as she had complained to the college management and police on the continued harassment by the culprit...” Nirmala Sitaraman of the commission said in Vijayawada today.