Vijayawada: A slew of crimes against women in the name of love over the past few weeks has sent shockwaves across Andhra Pradesh. The use of acids, knives, and petrol in these crimes has become disconcertingly common.

In the latest incident in Vizag city, the body of a 17-year-old girl was found with her throat slit at Gajuwaka on Saturday night. She was reportedly killed by a jilted lover. The incident has once again exposed how girls become victims in the name of love.

This is the third such incident in Andhra Pradesh in less than three weeks. The 17-year-old girl, Varalakshmi, had recently cleared her intermediate exams and was planning to join an undergraduate course. The accused, 21-year-old Akhil Sai, is a law student in a university in Vizag. Both knew each other and Akhil was unhappy that Varalakshmi had become friends with another boy.

According to the police, Akhil decided to take revenge and kill her. While the girl was returning from a temple, Akhil entered into a heated argument with her and he slit her throat with a small knife. Varalakshmi was found bleeding heavily. The police have reportedly taken Akhil and another youth into custody in connection with the murder.

Two similar incidents were reported in Vijayawada city earlier. A 24-year-old nurse Chinnari was set afire by a jilted lover Nagabhushanam on 12 October and on 15 October a 20-year-old engineering student was stabbed in her neck inside her house by a man who was allegedly in a relationship with her earlier.

While in the first case the perpetrator, Nagabhushanam, also succumbed to the burn injuries, the offender in the second case is undergoing treatment at a hospital for alleged self-inflicted knife injuries.

The nurse Chinnari and Nagabhushanam were reportedly in a relationship for a few years. The two broke up some time back. On 5 October, the two got into an argument and she lodged a complaint with the police but withdrew it later when the man promised not to bother her again. However, on 12 October he set her on fire, killing her while he sustained burn injuries

The 20-year-old engineering student Chinni Tejaswini was stabbed to death by Nagendra Babu at her house at Christurajapuram in the heart of Vijayawada city. After stabbing her, he tried to end his life. Meanwhile, the family members of the accused alleged that Nagendra Babu and Tejaswini had secretly married but the girl's parents were opposed to their marriage.

Accordign to the NCRB 2019 data, in Andhra Pradesh at least one murder in two days were sparked either due to an illicit relationship or a love affair. The data said 164 murders were reported due to illicit relationships and 23 murders were reported due to love affairs in the state in 2019 and majority of the victims were women and girls.

Leaders and activists of various women's organisations have condemned the attacks on women and expressed fear over a series of brazen attacks on women in the state. They have demanded stringent and quick action against the perpetrator to deter such incidents in the state.

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