Victims of ‘Telangana suicides’ had other reasons to die: police

On March 26,autorickshaw driver S Rajamouli set himself on fire in Hanamkonda,raising ‘Jai Telangana’ slogans.

Written by SRINIVAS JANYALA | Hyderabad | Published: March 30, 2012 12:41 am

On March 24,MBA student L Bhojya Naik died of self-inflicted burns in Warangal,blaming politicians for not doing enough to create Telangana.

On March 26,autorickshaw driver S Rajamouli set himself on fire in Hanamkonda,raising ‘Jai Telangana’ slogans.

On March 28,stonecutter C Yadagiri hanged himself in Medak district,leaving behind an audio recording saying he was dying for Telangana.

Were the three men driven to suicide by the despair of not getting the separate state they wanted so desperately? While not discounting the possibility that the men might indeed have felt strongly about Telangana,Andhra Pradesh police are now investigating evidence that all three men might have had other reasons to kill themselves.

Bhojya Naik’s family has told police that the second-year student of Warangal’s New Science Degree College was depressed because a cousin with whom he had fallen in love had refused to marry him. “Naik’s parents had started pressuring him to look for a job and get married to a girl they had chosen for him. We are still not sure what was the provocation that day but in his dying declaration he accused political leaders of delaying the formation of Telangana state,” said an official of Subedari police station,where the case is registered.

Two days before he set himself on fire in Hanamkonda’s Public Gardens,Rajamouli had been fined Rs 1,000 by a traffic policeman for driving dangerously and obstructing traffic. He pleaded he was already struggling to pay the EMIs for his auto loan. The police locked up his vehicle and told him to come back after he had raised the money.

“The next day he posted a letter addressed to the SP,Warangal,with photocopies of the loan papers,requesting that the fine be waived. He wrote that he could earn nothing during the time his vehicle was at the police station,” SP Rajesh Kumar said on Thursday.

“But by the time his letter reached my office and was taken note of,Rajamouli had immolated himself. He may have had intense feelings for Telangana, but it appears the traffic challan was the trigger for his suicide,” Kumar said.

On Wednesday morning,23-year-old Yadagiri was found hanging from a tree near Imampur village in Medak district,some 60 km from his home in Rayalapuram village in Ranga Reddy district. Yadagiri recently learnt to drive an autorickshaw and would lease vehicles for a small daily income.

“We have not found any clue on why he did it. His parents,relatives and friends say he was not the kind to commit suicide. If he was passionate about Telangana,he never displayed it,or discussed it with anyone. He had left home on Tuesday afternoon,and spoken to his sister on the phone late on Wednesday night,” investigating officer K Venkataiah said on Thursday.

Yadagiri left behind a message on the back of a cigarette packet directing his family to a recording in his mobile phone. “Family members recognised his voice in the audio clip in which he stated that he was dying for Telangana but are baffled about what Yadagiri was doing so far away from home,” Venkataiah said.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti,which won five out of six bypoll seats in results declared on March 21,has called shutdowns and rallies to protest the three suicides.

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