Hyderabad: In a short video, Mandiga Naga Ramakrishna, who set himself and his family on fire on 3 January, has alleged that Raghavendra Rao, the son of Kothagudem MLA and TRS leader Vanama Venkateshwara Rao, had ordered him to come to Hyderabad with his wife.

"He told me this was the only way to solve my problems," Ramakrishna says in his last video that was discovered on his phone by the police on 5 January.

Ramakrishna set himself and his wife on fire after setting his twin daughters on fire in Palvoncha town in Khammam district on 3 January. The Kothagudem police filed a case the same day and the superintendent of police, Sunil Datt, said the accused in the case was on the run and that the police would arrest him.

According to the police, the couple and one of their daughters were killed on the spot while the second daughter, Sahithi, suffered 80% burns and is currently seeking treatment.

Ramakrishna's mother Satyawathi and sister Madhavi have also been named as accused in the case. "They will also be arrested. We will arrest them after we arrest the primary accused Raghavendra," Mr. Datt said.

Shortly after Ramakrishna set himself ablaze, the police found a suicide note naming Vanama Raghavendra Rao. The victim had also left behind a short video on his phone which the police procured from his car.

In the video, Ramakrishna explains that Raghavendra asked him to bring his wife to him. He says he was going to take the drastic step in fear of what Raghavendra would do to him and his family. "Raghavendra ordered me to bring my wife, without the kids, and come to Hyderabad. Then, I will solve your issue, he said," Ramakrishna says in the video.

Mr. Datt said for several months, Ramakrishna had been suffering financially and also had a property dispute with his mother and sister. "When he took the property dispute case to Raghavendra, the dispute was settled. However, Ramakrishna later felt that the verdict was unfair and he spoke up. That's where the problems began between the two," he said.

Ramakrishna said that Raghavendra had threatened him saying he would ensure that he didn't get even a single penny from the assets if he did not send his wife to him.

In a letter addressed to the DGP, Congress MP Komati Venkat Reddy said, "According to the police, the accused is still absconding but he is threatening the victim's family for a compromise. The Telangana police claim to be an efficient force in India when on the contrary, the policy remains mute spectators and are sheltering the culprits. This will vitiate the peaceful atmosphere and law and order in the state."

Amrutha Kosuru

Amrutha Kosuru is a Senior Reporter at NewsMeter. She is from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Science and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Print Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. She previously worked with The New Indian Express. She was also a contributor to the People's Archive of Rural India (PARI). Amrutha is a long-form literary reportage enthusiast and truly believes in the power of written-word storytelling. She strongly supports the LGBTQIA+ community and is a lover of everything antique and vintage. She hopes to own a well-functioning typewriter someday.

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