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Rajaiah, Wife, Son Arrested After Deaths In Family

Congress candidate for the Warangal by-election Siricilla Rajaiah, and his wife and son were arrested after his daughter-in-law allegedly committed suicide.
Hyderabad | 4th November 2015
Former MP and Congress candidate for the Warangal by-election Siricilla Rajaiah was arrested on Wednesday after his daughter-in-law allegedly committed suicide along with his three grandsons in a burning incident caused by LPG cylinders' explosion in the wee early hours of the day.

Rajaiah's wife Madhavi and son Anil have also been arrested by the Warangal city police.

The Congress leader's daughter-in-law Sarika and three grandsons were burnt alive in her bedroom in Rajaiah's house at Hanumakonda in the Warangal district at around 4:30am on Wednesday.

Sarika, mother of Abhinav (9), Ayan (5) and Sriyan (3), was killed along with her three children in an explosion caused by an LPG gas leak in the bedroom.

While the police said that prima facie it appeared that Sarika had committed suicide along with her sons, Warangal Police Commissioner Sudhir Babu said that they would investigate other angles, too.

The police took Rajaiah, his wife Madhavi and son Anil to the Police Commissioner's office to question them regarding the incident in the afternoon, and later announced their arrests.

The arrests followed a review of the FIR that was registered under Section 498 (A) based on Sarika's complaint six months ago.

Anil and Sarika were married in 2002 after they fell in love while studying engineering. However, the couple fell apart and recently started living separately in the two-storey bungalow belonging to Rajaiah at Hanumakonda.

Anil lived on the ground floor and his wife Sarika lived in two rooms on the first floor, while Rajaiah and his wife lived in the penthouse on the top floor.

Giving details of the tragedy, the Police Commissioner said that at 5 am fire and thick smoke were seen emanating out of the first floor of Rajaiah's house followed by an explosion.

The Police Commissioner added, "We have found four bodies - those of one woman and three children. They were all charred beyond recognition."

The police said that the body of the eldest boy Abhinav was found near the door of the bedroom, indicating that he had tried to escape the fire, but as the door was locked from inside he could not open it.

Rajaiah's daughter-in-law had filed harassment cases against her husband Anil and Rajaiah himself (in Hyderabad), according to Archana, Sarika's sister.

"Rajaiah, his wife and Anil were all the while harassing her. Last year she had come home (her mother's) and confessed that it was becoming difficult to live in Rajaiah's house. But we comforted and counselled her, and she went back. She had filed police cases against Anil and Rajaiah in Warangal, too.

"My sister is not the kind to commit suicide. We suspect that she has been killed by Rajaiah's family."

Sarika's mobile phone was destroyed in the fire and the police are collecting call data records.

The police believed that Sarika had probably moved two LPG cylinders into the bedroom in the wee hours while her sons were asleep, and caused a leak before setting fire in the bedroom. This, the police explained, would have caused the explosion.

Rajaiah, nominated by the Congress to contest the Warangal Lok Sabha by-election, had filed his papers on Monday and was supposed to launch his campaign at 11 am on Wednesday. He opted out of the election following the incident. Following that, the Telangana Congress leaders convened an emergency meeting and suggested to AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh that he nominate another former Congress MP, Sarve Satyanarayana, in place of Rajaiah.

The Warangal Lok Sabha bypoll (the constituency is reserved for SCs) is slated for November 21. The by-election was necessitated by standing TRS MP Kadiam Srihari being inducted into the Telangana cabinet by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. Srihari had quit the seat and it fell vacant.

There were emotional scenes at Rajaiah's house. Congress leaders who reached the residence needed to console Rajaiah who had collapsed in front of his house due to shock and was crying inconsolably.
filed in:  Crimes Against Women, By-Elections, Elections, Lok Sabha, Telangana Congress, Sircilla Rajaiah, Crime, Telangana Crime, Arrests, Deaths, Telangana
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