ANDHRA PRADESH

End to legal heir status row in sight?

VISAKHAPATNAM, AUG. 21. The dispute between the former Minister, M. Manikumari, and an auxiliary nurse and midwife, Simhachalam, over the legal heir status, as the wife of a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader killed by naxalites, M. Venkataraju, is likely to be settled next week.

This was the impression gained after the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, B. Rama Rao, on Saturday, adjourned the case to August 28.

Earlier, he talked separately with the two claimants for four hours and later told reporters that the case might end in a compromise.

Letter from temple

Ms. Manikumari on Saturday submitted a letter to the District Legal Services Authority she reportedly received from the Executive Officer of Annavaram Devasthanam, which stated that according to the records of the Devasthanam no marriage had taken place between Venkatraju and Simhachalam on August 2, 1992. Ms. Manikumari sought a clarification from the Executive Officer after Ms. Simhachalam claimed that she had married Venkatraju at Annavaram on the said date.

Ms. Manikumari also submitted a letter signed by 30 village elders stating that Ms. Simhachalam had not married Venkatraju.

Later talking to reporters, Ms. Manikumari said when Ms. Simhachalam was not the wife of Venkatraju there was no question of her being his legal heir. Ms. Simhachalam wanted justice to be done to her and her children.