The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Second wife’ and suicide bid follow Taliban terror

Hyderabad, May 1: The trauma of slain telecom engineer K. Suryanarayana’s family deepened today when his widow Manjula tried to commit suicide following the appearance of a “second wife” in the morning.

Gogula Swapna, 28, had arrived at the Malkajgiri house carrying a one-year-old baby allegedly fathered by Suryanarayana. Her relatives said the child should be given a share of the Rs 55-lakh compensation.

She was turned away from the doorstep but in the evening, Manjula poured a bottle of phenyl down her throat. Doctors at the hospital said she was out of danger.

Swapna, a former schoolteacher from Warangal, claims Suryanarayana married her at a temple on August 31, 2002, after a year’s courtship while he was posted in the town during his stint with Tata Teleservices.

“When Nidhisha was born, Surya signed the hospital register as her father,” she claimed. “I am ready for a DNA test on her.”

She said Suryanarayana used to send her money from Afghanistan and had spent two days with her in March during his short trip home for the Telugu new year. The engineer’s family confirmed he had left Hyderabad for two days to meet some “friends”.

Swapna, who has photographs of her purported wedding and domestic life, said she wanted to see “my husband’s face one last time”.

After being turned away from his house, Swapna, accompanied by a local lawyer, met deputy commissioner of police Soumya Mishra and sought his help to attend the funeral tomorrow. The officer advised her to approach a civil court.

After the body arrived tonight, the engineer’s family allowed her into the home for a glimpse, but didn’t say if they would let her attend the cremation.

After Suryanarayana’s murder by the Taliban was confirmed on Sunday, the Centre and state government had separately announced Rs 5 lakh for his family. His Bahraini employer promised Rs 20 lakh as compensation and another Rs 25 lakh in insurance money.

Swapna claimed Suryanarayana had always been in touch with her. “He would meet me in Warangal once every two weeks after he quit Tata Teleservices. He used to send me about Rs 15,000 a month from Bahrain (where he worked last year) and Afghanistan. He recently sent me a mobile.”

Besides photographs of her “wedding”, she has pictures of the couple after the birth of Nidhisha and their purported trips to Tirupati and other tourist spots.

Mishra told her the photographs alone may not be enough: “You should also have legal documents, such as a marriage certificate.”

Swapna has filed a complaint at Malkajgiri police station saying she wants tissues taken from Suryanarayana’s body for a DNA match with the baby’s blood samples.

The engineer’s family kept mum about the controversy. “Please do not bother me with all this,” his father Chandrasekhar said.


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