Andhra Pradesh man records wife’s suicide, sends to her family; arrested

Investigation revealed that Penchalaiah, who worked as a security guard at an ATM in Atmakur town, abused his wife for 13 years after they got married as he suspected she was unfaithful to him.

A 38-year-old man has been arrested in Atmakur town of Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district on charges of abetment to suicide after he allegedly pushed his wife into killing herself and recorded the act. He is also accused of sending the video to his wife’s family.    

The police said Moddu Penchalaiah, who “prodded” his wife Kondamma, 35, to kill herself while he recorded it on his mobile phone, had tortured her mentally and physically for nearly 13 years, and is an extreme alcoholic. He was arrested on Wednesday after he sent the video to his wife’s family.

“Our investigation revealed that he sent the video to his wife’s family and relatives saying it was proof that he did not kill her. However, the video proves he taunted and prodded her to take the extreme step. Prior to recording the video, he abused her and accused her of infidelity,” Sub-Inspector P Shivashankar of Atmakur Police Station told The Indian Express.

The police booked Penchalaiah under Section 498A (any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as likely to drive a person to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. A local court remanded Penchalaiah to judicial custody on Friday.

Investigation revealed that Penchalaiah, who worked as a security guard at an ATM, abused Kondamma for 13 years after they got married. “He suspected that she was unfaithful to him, and physically and mentally harassed her, almost on a daily basis. They have two children, aged 10 and 11 years, and even in front of them he used obscene language at her and often assaulted her physically. He is always in an inebriated condition and was constantly suspecting his wife.

“During the investigation, we came to know that Kondamma, fed up with his constant abuse, returned to her family in Kothapalli village, taking the two children with her. However, the elders intervened and made them compromise after which she returned to Penchalaiah’s house in JR Peta,” the SI said.

As Penchaliah spent most of his income on alcohol, Kondamma took up a job as a resource person at the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) office at Atmakur, and used to receive a honorarium of Rs 6,000 per month which supplemented the family’s meagre income.

The police said Penchaliah used to often go to the MEPMA office to check on Kondamma and would pick fights with her and berate and insult her in front of her colleagues.

SI Shivashankar, the Investigating Officer, said there was nothing that suggested infidelity on the part of Kondamma. “She, in fact, made a lot of effort to keep the family together and the children safe,” he said.

Kondamma’s brother C Mallikarjuna, 29, said his sister often called him crying and complaining about the torture that  Penchalaiah put her through after coming home drunk. “She endured it only because of the two children. She was a strong person and would not have died by suicide if he did not taunt and prod her to take her life. When I saw the video, it made my blood boil. He should rot in jail for the rest of his life,” he said.

The children are currently with their mother’s family. Officials from the District Child Welfare office said if the family wishes, they can be moved to a children’s home and the government will take care of their education.

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