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Police arrests Rajaiah and his wife and son

Former MP and Congress candidate for the Warangal by-elections Sircilla Rajaiah has been arrested after his daughter-in-law allegedly committed suicide along with his three grandsons early today morning. Rajaiah’s wife Madhavi and son Anil have also been arrested by Warangal City Police.

Rajaiah’s daughter-in-law Sarika and three grandsons were burnt alive in their bedroom in Rajaiah’s house in Hanamkonda in Warangal city early today morning. Sarika, mother of three sons Abhinav (9) Ayan (5) and Sriyan (3) died after a LPG gas leak in the bedroom caused the explosion killing all four. Police said that prima facie it appeared that Sarika committed suicide along with her sons, but Warangal Police Commissioner Sudhir Babu said that they will investigate other angles also. 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 arrest. Police reviewed the FIR that was registered under section 498 (A) based on Sarika’s complaint six months ago and decided to take Rajaiah and his family members into custody.

Rajaiah’s son S Anil and Sarika married in 2002 after they fell in love while studying engineering. However, the couple fell apart and had recently started living separately in the two-storey bungalow of Rajaiah in Warangal city. While Anil lived separately on the ground floor, his wife Sarika lived in two rooms on the first floor while Rajaiah and his wife lived on the top floor in a penthouse. Rajaiah, who was nominated by the Congress to contest the Warangal Lok Sabha by-poll, had filed his nomination papers on Monday and was supposed to launch his campaign on Wednesday at 11 am.

Warangal Police Commissioner Sudhir Babu said that at 5 AM fire and thick smoke was seen emanating out of the first floor of Rajaiah’s house followed by an explosion. Rajaiah’s daughter-in-law had earlier filed harassment cases against her husband Anil and Rajaiah himself, according to Archana, Sarika’s sister. “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 counselled 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,’’ Archana said. Sarika’s mobile phone was destroyed in the fire and police is collecting call data records.

Police have determined that Sarika probably moved two LPG cylinders to the bedroom early in the morning while her sons were asleep and caused a leak before setting fire in the bedroom which caused the explosion. Congress leaders reached Rajaiah’s house, who collapsed in front of his house due to shock and was crying inconsolably. Warangal Police Commissioner said “we have found four bodies- one woman and four children. They are all charred beyond recognition.”

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 as the door was locked from inside he could not open it in time. Meanwhile, Telangana Congress leaders convened an emergency meeting in view of the incident and suggested to AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh to nominate another former Congress MP Sarvey Satyanarayana in place of Rajaiah who withdrew his nomination as the candidate for the Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha bypoll on November 21. The Warangal (SC) by-poll was necessitated after TRS MP Kadiam Srihari, who was inducted into the Cabinet by the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, resigned and the seat fell vacant. (NSS)