Former Congress MP and Warangal Congress leader Sircilla Rajaiah was arrested after his daughter-in-law allegedly committed suicide along with his three grandsons early on Wednesday morning. Rajaiah’s wife Madhavi and son Anil were also arrested by the Warangal police.
Rajaiah’s daughter-in-law, Sarika, and his three grandsons were burnt alive in their bedroom at the Congress leader’s house in Warangal’s Hanamkonda. Sarika, mother of three sons — Abhinav (9), Ayan (5), and Sriyan (3), died after LPG gas leak in the bedroom caused an explosion at around 5 am killing all four.
Rajaiah, who was picked by the Congress to contest the Warangal Lok Sabha bypoll, had filed his nomination papers on Monday. He was supposed to launch his campaign at 11 am on Wednesday.
Police said that prima facie it appeared that Sarika committed suicide along with her sons, but Warangal Police Commissioner Sudhir Babu added that they will probe all angles. “We will investigate the case thoroughly…if there is any foul play we will come to know of it,’’ said Babu.
Reviewing an FIR registered under Section 498A, based on Sarika’s complaint six months ago, police decided to take Rajaiah and his family into custody.
Sarika married Rajaiah’s son, S Anil, in 2002 after they fell in love while studying together. However, the couple fell apart and recently started living separately.
While Anil lived on the ground floor of Rajaiah’s two-storey bungalow in Warangal, Sarika stayed on the first floor and Rajaiah on the top floor of the building with his wife.
“Rajaiah and his wife and her husband Anil were always harassing her. Last year she had come home and confessed that it was becoming difficult to live in Rajaiah’s house, but we comforted and counseled her and she went back. She filed police cases against Anil and Rajaiah also in Warangal. My sister is not the kind to commit suicide. We suspect that she has been killed by Rajaiah’s family,’’ said Sarika’s sister, Archana.
While Sarika’s mobile phone was destroyed in the fire, the police now plan to access the call data records.
Police suspect that Sarika moved two LPG cylinders to the bedroom and caused the leak that later led to the explosion. Officials said that the body of the eldest son, Abhinav, was found near the door of the bedroom indicating that he tried to escape the fire but failed as the door was locked from inside.
Meanwhile, Telangana Congress leaders convened an emergency meeting after the incident. The state leadership has reportedly suggested the name of former Congress MP Sarvey Satyanarayana in place of Rajaiah, who withdrew his nomination. The bypoll to Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha seat is scheduled for November 21.