Andhra Pradesh

Four of family found dead at upscale Vizag apartment

Four members of an NRI family were found dead under suspicious circumstances in their fifth-floor flat at an upscale gated residential community at Midhilapuri VUDA Colony in Madhurawada in the early hours of Thursday.

S. Bangaru Naidu (50), his wife Nirmala (46), and their sons Deepak (22) and Kashyap (19) were all found dead in their flat at Aditya Fortune Towers at 5 a.m. on Thursday. The victims died of burn injuries and asphyxiation in a fire that broke out inside their flat, say police sources, adding that initial investigation points to murder.

Neighbours said they heard shouting from the victims’ flat at around 2 a.m., after which they alerted security guards at the gate. The guards, who also reportedly heard some sounds, came to the flat but later left after reportedly debating whether or not to intervene as it was quite late in the night.

Later, neighbours saw smoke billowing out of the victims’ flat and saw a fire at 4.11 a.m., and alerted the Fire Department. A fire vehicle soon arrived at the gated community, and firefighters rushed up to the flat to find the door bolted from inside. They then broke open the door and entered the flat to see Bangaru Naidu, Nirmala and Kashyap dead with stab injuries. Bangaru Naidu’s body was lying on the floor near the main door, while Nirmala was found dead in the hall. Kashyap’s body was found in the bedroom.

Upon a further search of the apartment, firefighters found the elder son Deepak lying dead in the attached bathroom of a second bedroom. There were no injury marks on his body and he was dressed in a suit and tie. A post-mortem would reveal the cause of his death, a police officer said.

A sniffer dog squad, CLUES team and a forensic expert visited the crime scene and examined it minutely.

According to the police, circumstantial evidence suggested that there was a dispute between the family members which led to a heated argument. The elder son is suspected to have stabbed his parents and younger brother to death in a fit of rage. It appears that the elder son then set fire to the apartment in a bid to erase evidence of his crime and hid in the bathroom to avoid being burnt to death, but died soon after due to smoke inhalation, said a police officer.

Entry of outsiders into the gated community is heavily restricted as the compound is well-protected and secured. Security guards man the gate round the clock and there are CCTV cameras installed all around the campus, sources said.

Analysis of CCTV footage has revealed that no outsiders entered the flat the entire night. The last person to enter the flat was the father himself at 8.56 p.m. on Wednesday.

An investigation is on, police officers said.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 6:10:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/four-of-family-found-dead-at-upscale-vizag-apartment/article34330283.ece

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