A young Congress councillor from Nangloi (West) and her year-old daughter were found dead at their home on Thursday morning. Police said it appeared that Satyam Yadav (26), councillor from Ward C-43, strangled her daughter Vanshika and then used a dupatta to hang herself from a ceiling fan.
Satyam’s family, however, alleged foul play and levelled serious charges against her in-laws .
Police found Satyam’s body on the floor of her bedroom — in a sitting position with her back to the bed. The dupatta was around her neck and the other end was tied to the fan. Police suspect the weight of the body pulled it down to the floor.
Vanshika, who was found unconscious on the bed, was declared dead at the hospital.
Police said Satyam and her husband Pawan, a teacher in a primary school, stayed on the second floor of House No. 96 in Nangloi. Her in-laws — Satyawati Devi and Lalu Ram Yadav — live on the first floor and there is a guest room on the ground floor.
Satyam, who would have turned 27 on Friday, was a post-graduate in English literature and had a B.Ed degree.
Police said Pawan left the bedroom around 11.30 pm on Wednesday to check on his mother who was unwell. He decided to sleep on the first floor to look after her.
According to police, Pawan went up to the second floor room around 7 am on Thursday and knocked on the door. There was no response. After he returned, his sister went up. She, too, got no response, police said. Family members then forced open the door.
An inquiry into the deaths has been initiated. SDM Hukum Chand said: “The statements of the in-laws and family members have been recorded. An investigation is underway.”
Satyam’s brother Prashant Singh said: “At 8.30 am, Lalu Ram Yadav called my brother to say that Satyam had committed suicide. We went to the house and found her against the bed. They didn’t even let us see Vanshika.”
“We had given the family Rs 5 lakh during Satyam’s marriage. Pawan was unemployed at that time. Two days into the marriage, the harassment began. Satyam was told to find a job. They would not let her speak on the phone and even broke her phone once,” Prashant alleged.
He said Satyam was made to contest the polls for the councillor’s seat after the ward was reserved for women.
“It was my son’s naming ceremony on Wednesday. My younger brother went to Satyam’s house to invite her and the family. But they tore the invitation card. Satyam felt humiliated,” Prashant alleged.
Lalu Ram denied the allegations. “Last night, Satyam served us tea and we all chatted for a while. Then she touched everyone’s feet and went to her room. We found out about the deaths only this morning. If we had any problem with her, why would we have let her contest the elections?”
Additional Commissioner of Police (West) V Renganathan said a case has been registered under IPC sections relating to murder, dowry death, punishment for criminal breach of trust, subjecting a woman to cruelty.