Boy witnesses father's killing

CHANDANAVELLI (Ranga Reddy Dist) May 29. His innocent face betrays no emotion. Quite shocking because this lad of eight years had witnessed the gruesome killing of his father just 30 hours away. B. Prabhakar, a second class student, went to fetch some water for the house when a group of people came calling for his father.

``He was sleeping when they arrived. Soon I watched them drag him away to the outskirts of the village. He was being beaten and asked to confess about some thefts,'' he narrates the chilling tale.

``I begged them to leave him alone but they would not listen. People were watching from the nearby housetops but no one came to stop the act. They brought kerosene in a can, poured it on his `lungi' and lit a match. I saw it all - Anusuya, Lakshmamma, Venkatiah, they were all there holding his head and lighting the match,'' he recalls.

``Throughout, my dad was pleading his innocence but there was nobody to listen,'' he says. Prabhakar's eyewitness account is to be used by the police during the investigation process.

Narasimhulu's wife Manemma who was away for treatment when the incident took place is now left to fend for her herself and her three children. Prabhakar has a three-year-old brother Sudhakar and a one-and-a-half year-old sister Sunita.

Another sister Kamalamma has been married off at a tender age. "Only God can look after my family. Due to my illness I can barely work and the farm land is of no use,'' says Manemma, staring blankly into the distance.

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