Hyderabad: The former Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Assem-bly, former minister and senior Telugu Desam leader, Dr Kodela Siva Prasada Rao, 72, died under suspicious circumstances at his residence in Banjara Hills in Hyderabad on Monday. The police said that the TD leader was found hanging from the ceiling in his room and was declared dead at the Basavatara-kam Indo-American Cancer Hospital at noon.
Family members of the deceased politico have reportedly told the police that he was depressed for a while now, and they suspected it to be the reason for his taking the extreme step. However, the police said that they were investigating into circumstances that led to Dr Rao to commit suicide.
Police said the incident was reported to them at around 11.30 am after the TD leader was admitted to the hospital. Dr Rao has been living at his residence at his two-storey house located on Banjara Hills, Road No. 5, along his wife Sasikala and daughter Dr Vijayalakshmi, for the last 20 days. At around 10 am, Dr Rao had told his daughter that he would be going upstairs and latched the door of his room, said A.R. Srinivas, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), west zone. When Vijayala-kshmi went upstairs later to inform her father that she was taking her mother to a hospital , she did not get any response.
When she peered in through the French windows, she found she hanging from the ceiling.
“Dr Lakshmi peeped through a window, when her father did not respond to her knocking, and saw him hanging from the ceiling by a cloth noose. She immediately alerted the gunman and security guard, who broke open the door and brought him down. He was rushed to the Indo-American Cancer Hospital in an unconscious state. The doctors tried to revive him, but he died,” said DCP Srinivas.
While reports emerged that his elder son, Dr. K Siva Rama Krishna, was also present in the house, the police refuted it.
Responding to a query, DCP Srinivas said, “Presently, we do not have any information that his son was present at the house. Dr Rao was in the house with his wife and daughter, besides a maid, when the incident took place.”
Dr Rao had made a phone call at around 8.30 am and then had breakfast before going upstairs. The police are investigating to find whom and what the leader had spoken to last, the DCP added.
The police team that inspected Dr Rao’s house found a cloth tied to the ceiling fan in his room. The rod of the fan was bent, suggesting that he could have hung himself to it.
Based on his daughter Dr Lakshmi’s complaint, a case of suspicious death under section 174 of the Cr. PC has been registered. The body was sent to the Osmania General Hospital for a post-mortem examination. His post-mortem was being videographed to assist transparency in the court as evidence.
“The Kodela family members have claimed that he was under depression for a while. It is being rumoured that he attempted suicide a few days ago. We are trying to verify facts before coming to a conclusion,” said DCP Srinivas.
The hospital authorities, in a statement, said, “Dr Kodela Siva Prasada Rao was brought to the hospital at 11.35 am in an unresponsive state. As per medical protocol, resuscitative measures were initiated immediately. In spite of best efforts of the medical team at the Basavata-rakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital, he could not be revived and was declared dead at 12.39 pm.”
A team of three doctors performed the autopsy on the body. Prima facie it was opined that he had died of hanging. Samples of his viscera were collected and sent for analysis to the Forensic Science Laboratory.
His body was shifted to the NTR Bhavan at Banjara Hills, from where it would be shifted to Narsaraopet in Guntur district of AP....