Death of a former Congress MP's daughter-in-law and grandkids leaves many questions hanging

The cause of the fire that took the lives of Sarika and her three children, is yet to be ascertained
Death of a former Congress MP's daughter-in-law and grandkids leaves many questions hanging
Death of a former Congress MP's daughter-in-law and grandkids leaves many questions hanging
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The past two days have been turbulent for a family from Adloor in Yelareddy of Nizamabad district of Telangana, as their phones have been ringing continuously with incessant calls from the media and the police.

"Police should conduct a high-level inquiry to bring the truth about the death of my sister Sarika and her sons who died suspiciously in a fire at her in-laws’ house. Sarika has the guts to face any challenge in her life," said Archana Vangala, as she broke down, while addressing reporters on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Sarika, daughter-in-law of former Warangal MP Sircilla Rajaiah, burnt to death at the politician's residence in Warangal along with her three children, a day before she was to appear before a Hyderabad criminal court in connection with a case she had filed against her husband and in-laws.

The smoke was first noticed at around 5 am by some municipal workers, who raised an alarm, and tried waking up the sleeping residents, including Rajaiah. However, it was not until some neighbours jumped over the wall and broke open the door of Sarika's room that the politician woke up and called the fire station, but it was already too late to salvage the situation.

The cause of the fire that took the lives of 7-year-old Abhinav and two-year-old twins Ayan and Sriyan along with Sarika, is yet to be ascertained.

(Sarika. Image: Screenshot/TV9)

Sarika, a former IBM employee, had filed a petitioned in the Nampally court, which directed the Begumpet Women Police Station (Hyderabad) to register a case of dowry harassment in April 2014. She had once staged a sit-in outside her father-in-law's house, alleging ill-treatment.

Keeping those incidents in mind, the Warrangal police have registered a case of abetment to suicide and cruelty against Sircilla, wife Madhavi and their son Anil.

However, things got murkier on Thursday – the day Sarika was to appear in court in connection with the February case – when her lawyer Rehana released an e-mail she had received from Sarika in 2014.


In the e-mail (a copy of which is with The News Minute), Sarika begins by saying that she would like to lodge a complaint against her husband and in-laws for mental, physical and financial harassment.

She also alleges that she was pressurized to leave the house and that "they kept all my savings, earnings and gold with them....and are not giving it back to me" despite repeated requests. She also alleges that the family was creating "obstacles in her kids’ education, health checkup and food."

Sarika also goes on to say that her mother-in-law Madhavi "persuaded and provoked" her to leave the house, to get her son married again.

All this is just in the subject of the two-page email, which goes on to describe some disturbing incidents.

"My mother-in-law started torturing, harassing, abusing and insulting me over petty issues ever since my marriage. ‘I will kick you out, stand outside the gate and talk, don’t stay in the house, get out of here,’ were some of the utterances made by my mother-in-law during quarrels," she wrote.

Sarika and Anil Kumar Sircilla had a 'love marriage' on March 3, 2006 and had a boy in 2008 and twins in 2013. Some years later, Sarika caught her husband Anil cheating on her, a fact that the chargesheet in the February case records.

“Sarika had caught Anil red-handed while he was having a live-in relationship with a woman at his flat in Sai residency located in Balkampet. Since then, Anil and his parents started harassing Sarika,” says the chargesheet filed by Begumpet police in the Nampally court in February 2015.


Advocate Rehana who is representing Sarika in a Hyderabad court, has alleged that the death of her client and her children was 'murder'.

"Sarika was a very troubled girl. Ever since I first spoke to her in 2012, she used to cry a lot and she recently told me that the harassment was at its peak," Rehana told The News Minute. She last spoke to Sarika around two weeks ago.

Narrating how a then pregnant Sarika used to travel from Warangal to Hyderabad to seek legal advice, Rehana has told media channels that this does not look like a suicide, as Sarika was a brave girl.

"While I will continue fighting her case in Hyderabad, I'm also willing to testify for the Warangal case, as I have been named as one of the witnesses," Rehana adds.

Sarika’s family had last seen her during the Bathukamma festival last month and alleged that she was in bad shape.

“My sister is not the sort of person who would kill herself. She would continue living, at least for the children, if not for herself," her sister added, while emphasizing that this was a murder and an investigation was necessary.

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