Former Congress MP Sircilla Rajaiah and his wife and son were arrested on Wednesday hours after bodies of his daughter-in-law and three grandsons were found charred to death at his residence at Warangal in mysterious circumstances.
S Sarika and her all three sons – Abhinav, 7, Ayan, 3, and Sriyan, 3 – were burnt to death in the fire that broke out in her bedroom on the first floor of the house.
Fire brigade officials extinguished the fire around 6.30 am.
While some reports claimed the fire started after an LPG gas leak, others said it was started by Sarika.
Police found an LPG cooking cylinder with its regulator open was found in the room.
The dead woman’s family said it suspected foul play.
Sarika’s mother and sister alleged in their native Nizamabad district that her in-laws “tortured her and killed her”.
“My sister cannot commit suicide…She was tortured and killed,” Sarika’s sister alleged.
Women’s groups alleged that Sarika and the children were murdered and demanded action against the former MP and his son.
Incidentally, a criminal case was filed against Rajaiah, his wife Madhavi, son S Anil Kumar and another woman, at the Begumpet women’s police station in Hyderabad in April 2014, following a complaint lodged by Sarika, who alleged that her husband and in-laws had been harassing her for dowry.
Last year, she had staged a sit-in in front of Rajaiah’s house, seeking justice for her and her children. She also complained that Anil was having an extra-marital affair.
“We found four bodies in the house. We are investigating. It’s premature to say anything now,” Warangal Police Commissioner G Sudheer Babu told the media.
Police had questioned Rajaiah and Anil during the day.
It was not clear where the other members of the family including Sarika’s husband Anil were at the time of the incident. Anil and his parents apparently live on separate floors of the same house.
Rajaiah immediately withdrew from the Warangal Lok Sabha by-election in which he was a candidate.
The Congress had last week named Rajaiah as its candidate for the November 21 by-election from the Warangal Lok Sabha seat.
He was elected from Warangal in 2009 but lost last year.
Anil and Sarika had met while studying engineering in Hyderabad and went for a registered marriage in 2002. A traditional marriage ceremony was later held with the consent of both the families in 2006.