SIDDIPET: Thutukuri Malla Reddy, the 70-year-old farmer who died by suicide in Vemulaghat on Friday, had lost his wife to cancer around nine months ago.
The residents of the village alleged that following her demise, officials from the Revenue Department told Malla Reddy he would not receive the promised 2BHK house in the R&R Colony as he was alone and could live with his grandson Thirupathi Reddy, who had received a plot in the R&R Colony.
In fact, fate had been cruel to the 70-year-old farmer throughout his life. While his eldest daughter and her husband died a couple of years ago, his second daughter and her husband died recently due to Covid-19.
Malla Reddy wanted to gift the new house to the youngest of his three daughters and was upset after the Revenue Department officials told him he would not receive it.
He stayed at his youngest daughter’s house. On Thursday, he reached Vemulaghat and told her he would stay the night. The neighbours saw him collect wood from the demolished house and thought he wanted to sell it. They were in for a brutal shock when they realised that he was building a pyre for himself.
Officials deny claims
The state government officials, meanwhile, denied all the claims made by the villagers. Thoguta Tahsildar G Balreddy said that Malla Reddy was given Rs 7.5 lakh and a house, numbered 858, in the R&R Colony at Mutrajpally, as per rules, whereas his grandson was offered `5.4 lakh and a plot of land.
Thoguta police registered a case and moved the remains of Malla Reddy’s charred body to the Siddipet government hospital for autopsy.
The incident triggered a political backlash in the village. Congress leader Ch Srinivas Reddy was taken into preventive custody by the police while he was on his way to Vemulaghat. Dubbaka BJP MLA M Raghunandan Rao met Malla Reddy’s relatives at the government hospital, but he was not allowed to proceed to Vemulaghat.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)