After three members of a family — a couple and their 12-year-old daughter — allegedly died by suicide in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana, the name of the local MLA’s son was mentioned in the First Information Report (FIR) after it was found in a purported suicide note, police said on Monday, January 3. Mandiga Naga Ramakrishna, a businessman, his wife Srilakshmi, and their daughter Sahitya were burnt alive in a fire on the night of Sunday, January 2. Another daughter, Sahiti, was admitted to the hospital with 80% burns, and her statement was recorded. The incident occurred allegedly due to leakage of cooking gas in their house in the Old Palvancha area in the district.
The police initially treated it as a case of an accident. However, after preliminary investigations, they suspected it to be a case of suicide. The police recovered some key documents and bills from the car of Ramakrishna. A purported suicide note left by the deceased mentioned the name of Vanama Raghavendra Rao, the son of Kothagudem MLA and TRS leader Vanama Venkateswara Rao, police said, adding that a case was registered and the investigation was in progress. The note, purportedly written by Ramakrishna, reportedly mentioned that financial problems and pressure from people who lent money were the reasons for the suicide.
Palwancha Assistant Superintendent of Police Rohit Raj told the media that in the suicide note, financial disputes were mentioned as the reason for their deaths. “Those named as responsible in the suicide note were Vanama Raghavendra Rao, his (Ramakrishna's) mother, and his sister. A case has been registered in their names, and they will be taken into custody as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the case has been registered under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
Raghavendra was reported to be absconding. However, he released a video denying involvement in the case. In the video, Raghavendra Rao said, “I have nothing to do with the suicide case of Ramakrishna in Old Palvancha. They were all acquaintances. I merely told him to take good care of his mother, I don’t know why he has named me … Ours is a political family. Many people visit our house for different work. How can I be held responsible for this? If they have financial difficulties and take their lives, what do I have to do with it? Conduct a proper inquiry, if my involvement is found, I will bear the punishment. Some people have conspired and influenced Ramakrishna and tried to frame me, to prevent my growth in politics. I am ready for any inquiry.”
According to the police, Ramakrishna used to run the Mee Seva centre in Palvancha. Two months ago, he sold the centre and shifted to Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh. The police believe that the couple made the suicide pact due to losses of Rs 30 lakh in business and mounting debts, according to IANS.
With PTI and IANS inputs
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.
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.