Three members of a family in Hyderabad including a 7-year-old girl were found dead in a mysterious manner in their house in Vandanapuri Colony of Ameenpur police station limits in Telangana. The deceased have been identified as Srikanth (42), Anamika (38) and Snigdha (7). Police suspect that the family were into some occult rituals and superstition, as they allegedly died by suicide after performing a pooja. The bodies of the deceased had a long streak of vermillion on their forehead, and the photos of gods were found on the floor which were turned face down. Police have not found a suicide note or any leads yet. They have engaged a forensics team to investigate the case.
The family was “missing” for two days. And following a complaint, authorities went to their residence at around 1.30 pm on Thursday, January 20 for investigation. As the doors were locked from inside the house, police broke them open and found the bodies in separate rooms. Srikanth worked as a software employee in Hyderabad while Anamika worked as a teacher.
“As they were found dead in a suspicious manner with photos of gods lying on the floor, we are probing the case in the angle of whether they were part of any strange cult,” said Ameenpur Circle Inspector Srinivas Reddy. “We did not find any suicide note, so we have taken the assistance of our technical team for clues. So far, there is no update,” he added. As the residence is equipped with CCTV cameras, police are looking for clues in them as well.
Police have registered a case of suspicious death under section 174 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Meanwhile, the neighbours were shocked to learn of the death of the family. Expressing shock, a neighbour, who regularly interacts with the family said, “They are a nice family. Since it was a love marriage, they did not have any dispute. They never quarrelled with anyone. Their marital life was perfect. They were soft-spoken.” “For festivals they would invite us over. They seemed fine,” he added, expressing disbelief.
The incident is similar to last year’s sensational Madanapalle murder case in which a couple killed their own daughters after performing a strange ritual, believing that they had the power to revive them. The parents – Purushotam Naidu and V Padmaja – were well-educated. While Naidu was a lecturer in a government degree college, his wife V Padmaja, was a math teacher in a private school.
If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organizations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.
State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)
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.