Andhra reporter dies by suicide, family alleges local YSRCP MLA’s involvement

According to the police, Sakshi reporter Dhamodhar Rao went missing on December 26, and a missing person complaint was filed at JR Puram police station in Ranasthalam. Two days later, his body was found on a farm two kms away from his residence.
Journalist Dhamodhar Rao
Journalist Dhamodhar Rao
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A 45-year-old reporter, Gurija Dhamodhar Rao, associated with Sakshi Media, was found dead on Thursday, December 28, at his village in Lavetipalem, Srikakulam. The police said that initial investigations pointed the cause of death to be poison consumption. The police also discovered a suicide note beside the deceased, accusing the local MLA Gorle Kiran Kumar of Etcherla causing significant stress.

According to the police, Dhamodhar Rao went missing on December 26, and a missing person complaint was filed at JR Puram police station in Ranasthalam. Two days later, his body was found on a farm two kilometres away from his residence. According to the note allegedly written by Dhamodhar, he accused YSRCP MLA Kiran Kumar and Lankapalle Gopi as the reasons for his death. “They have troubled me in every manner. Don’t leave them,” the note read.

Despite the presence of a suicide note, the police have refrained from immediately filing an FIR against the MLA. Sub-Inspector (SI) of JR Puram Police Station, G Rajesh told TNM that a case has been registered under section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). “To confirm whether the handwriting on the letter is that of the deceased, we have forwarded it to the forensic experts. We'll update the sections appropriately once it's established,” he said.

Dhamodhar’s brother, Srinivas Rao, said that Dhamodhar was associated with Sakshi Media, owned by YS Jagan, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. During the 2019 elections, Dhamodhar actively campaigned for Gorle Kiran Kumar. "My brother works as a journalist and has strongly supported the YSRCP. He developed leadership skills in this way. But my brother was troubled by the MLA's aide Lankella Gopi after Gorle Kiran Kumar won the elections. A rift was created between them as they accused Dhamodhar of revealing the MLA's wrongdoings to media people. He was psychologically disturbed for the past six months,” Srinivas told TNM.

Kiran Kumar responded to Dhamodhar’s death and said that he would cooperate with the police in the investigation. “The deceased is a YSRCP activist. His death should be investigated thoroughly, and the police should find out who is behind the letter,” the MLA said in a press meet at Etcherla on December 28.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584


Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222


Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.


State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.    

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726 

Click here for working helplines across India.

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