Ex-MP’s daughter-in-law, three grandsons killed in fire

Hyderabad: A former Congress parliament member’s daughter-in-law and three grandsons were killed in a fire at his house in Warangal town early Wednesday, police said. The daughter-in-law’s parental family said they doubt it was an accidental fire.

S. Sarika and her all three sons – Abhinav, 7, Ayan, 3, and Sriyan, 3 – were burnt alive in the fire that broke out in her bedroom on the first floor of the house of former Congress MP Siricilla Rajaiah.

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Rajaiah was the party’s candidate for the Lok Sabha by-election from the Warangal constituency, but opted out of the poll after the tragedy in the family.

Fire brigade officials extinguished the fire around 6.30 a.m.

What caused the fire is unclear and senior police officials said they have launched the investigations.

“We found four bodies in the house. We are investigating. It’s premature to say anything now,” Warangal Police Commissioner G. Sudheer Babu told reporters.

Police are questioning Rajaiah and his son S. Anil Kumar about what happened on Monday night and if they were present in the house.

Sarika’s parents in Nizamabad district said they doubted it was an accidental fire. They also ruled out suicide.

Women’s organisations alleged that Sarika and the children were murdered and demanded action against the former MP and his son.

Sarika in 2013 had lodged a complaint with police that Anil was mentally torturing her for more dowry. Last year, she staged a sit-in in front of Rajaiah’s house, seeking justice for her and her children. She also complained that Anil has been neglecting her and their children as he was having an extra-marital affair with another woman.

Anil and Sarika were in a relationship while studying engineering in Hyderabad and had a registered marriage in 2002. A traditional marriage ceremony was later held with the consent of both the families in 2006.

The Congress last week named Rajaiah as its candidate for by-election from the Warangal (SC) parliamentary constituency scheduled to be held on November 21.

He was elected from the same constituency in 2009 but was defeated in the polls last year.

Rajaiah filed nomination papers for the by-election on Monday, but decided to opt out of the race following the tragedy. He conveyed to the party leadership that he can’t contest the by-poll.