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Husband Flees to India After Wife’s Killing, Faces ‘Citizenship Noose’ upon Return

Australia is currently in the process of seeking the extradition of Ashok Raj Varikuppala, who is accused of killing his wife, Chaitanya Madhagani, and then returning to Hyderabad with their child. The international media has reported on Australia’s efforts to bring Varikuppala back to face trial.

The investigation team is eager to speak with Varikuppala regarding the incident. Both Varikuppala and Madhagani had previously accepted Australian citizenship, complicating matters for the accused, as India does not allow dual citizenship. As a result, Varikuppala is considered a foreign national in India.

Varikuppala allegedly returned to India with his three-month-old son after disposing of Madhagani’s body in a waste bin near their residence. He entrusted the child to Madhagani’s family and claimed that Madhagani had been strangled to death. The extradition process will require evidence to be presented in court for criminal prosecution. The investigation team plans to provide this evidence to the Indian officials through diplomatic channels after briefing Attorney General Mark Dreyfuss.

It’s worth noting that India had previously extradited Rajwinder Singh, an Indian-origin Australian citizen, to Australia in January 2023 in response to a similar request. Singh is facing charges related to the stabbing death of Toya Cordingley in Queensland in October 2018.

Regarding Madagani’s case, Varikuppala informed Madhagani’s family that Madhagani died of suffocation during an argument while trying to quiet their child. However, Madagani’s family is disappointed with the lack of assistance from Australian authorities and is arranging for Madhagani’s repatriation themselves. They are also seeking the post-mortem report from Australian authorities.

Unfortunately, Indian police were unable to register a complaint regarding the incident, as it occurred in Australia. Madhagani’s father, Balshetty Madhagani, expressed his disappointment.

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