Around 8:30 am on 16 September, Kodela Sivaprasad Rao reportedly spoke on his phone for close to 20 minutes. This conversation may well hold the key to the reason he took his life. According to sources, the Hyderabad police stumbled upon this detail while verifying the call records of the former Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh assembly.
Update : It now transpires that Rao spoke to a doctor at the Basavatarakarama Cancer hospital which he had founded in 1988 and was a Board member at. The police will question the doctor to know what exactly transpired during that conversation.
The phone instrument is reportedly with Rao’s family. The police are waiting for the cremation to get over in Guntur district on Wednesday for the family to come to Hyderabad and take the phone for further investigation. The phone has been out of network coverage area since Monday evening, suggesting it was switched off or has run out of charge.
In the absence of a suicide note, the investigating team is depending largely on the phone logs to investigate the case. It plans to speak to everyone who had interacted with Rao, either in person or over phone in the week preceding the tragedy. It also plans to collect details about his stay in hospital in Guntur after he suffered a heart stroke in August.
Meanwhile BJP leader P Raghuram has revealed that Sivaprasad Rao spoke to him last month and asked for his help in fixing up a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah. Raghuram says Rao was feeling neglected by the TDP leadership and it seemed like, he wanted to explore political options.
The case has acquired political colour with both the Telugu Desam and the YSRCP pointing fingers at each other.
According to information available with the police, Rao on that fateful morning went to his room on the first floor of the house in Banjara Hills area of Hyderabad after breakfast. At around 10:30 am when his daughter Vijaya Lakshmi wanted to inform him that she was taking her mother for medical tests to the hospital, she found his room door locked from the inside.
When repeated knocks on the door did not get a response from Rao, his security man was asked to look into the room through a window. It is then the family realised to its horror what Rao had done. The door was broken open and Rao rushed to the Basavatarakarama Indo-American Cancer Hospital nearby at 11:35 am. After the medical team failed to revive Rao, he was declared dead at 12:39 pm.