“Currently, investigation is being done with a suspicion that there could be the role of contract killers. In a day or two, we can conclude the probe as questioning of suspects and witnesses are on,” an officer, who is part of the investigation, told TOI.
VRA Sivaiah, 50, his wife Padma, 45, a family friend, Shantaiah, 55, Padma‘s niece Moulika, 22, and her children, Himabindu, 2, and Sweetie, 4, all got burnt alive in the fire accident when they were fast asleep. Shantaiah was an employee of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).
During the investigation, police discovered that there was an illicit relationship between Padma and Shantaiah, who got separated from his wife Srujana. Srujana and her children were upset with Shantaiah’s alleged illicit relationship and in the past they had fights over the issue. Shantaiah had been residing at Padma’s residence for a long time.
“We are waiting for Forensic Science Laboratory report to know the cause of the fire. For us, the FSL report is the key to ascertain if there was any sabotage,” police said. Investigators suspect that Shantaiah’s estranged family members might have a role in the offence to settle score with him and Padma.
“Some suspects are in our custody, but they denied their role in triggering the fire,” police said. The village sarpanch was the first to get information about the fire accident around 1.30am on Saturday. Later, he informed police, who contacted fire department officials. By then, the fire engulfed the home. The bodies were completely charred and the house was reduced to ashes,” police sources added.