2 dead, 2 critical as farmer, 4 sons consume pesticide
Two young men have died and two others are battling for their lives after a farming family of five -- a father and his four sons - attempted suicide by consuming pesticide at the house of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Nayom Irfan, in Jedcherla town on Sunday morning.
The family of Gaddam Venkataiah, a farmer, was under intense pressure from the TRS leader, a private real estate dealer, to part with their valuable 400 square yard plot in Golapally near the town. At a conservative estimate, the land (in a commercial zone) is believed to be worth at least Rs 60 lakh.
"Irfan has been threatening us with dire consequences if we do not give our land to him. We tried to resist and today we went to his house to discuss the issue again. He told us that there was no way he was going to give up on the land. He also told us that he had enough influence in the government to get the land records changed to show that it does not belong to us," a distraught Venkataiah said. He added that Irfan was close to a powerful minister in the TRS government.
On Sunday morning, Venkataiah, accompanied by his sons Srisailam, Shekar, Kumar and Mahesh, went to meet Irfan at the latter's residence. However, when the TRS leader continued to hold out threats to the family, the father and his sons took out the pesticide bottles they got with them.
The police said that while the four sons consumed the pesticide, some people who gathered at Irfan's house managed to prevent Venkataiah from drinking it. All the five were taken the local government hospital where Srisailam (25) and Sekhar (19) were declared dead. Kumar and Mahesh, whose condition turned critical, were rushed to the Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad.
Venkataiah was declared to be out of danger, the police said.
B Shiva Kumar, the TRS district in-charge, confirmed to TOI that Irfan is a party member. But he claimed that Irfan called the family to help "settle a dispute" in the village and that he was not involved in any land deals.
The Jedcherla police registered a case of attempted suicide against Venkataiah and his sons. However, despite Venkataiah naming Irfan as the cause of the attempted suicide and the death of his two sons, the police till late Sunday evening did not include the TRS leader's name in the case.
Jedcherla police inspector Srisailam told TOI that he received a petition from Venkataiah's family holding Irfan responsible for the deaths. Mahbubnagar deputy superintendent of police Krishnamurthy said investigation is on.