Four People Found Charred in Their Hut

Published: 15th July 2015 07:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2015 07:15 PM   |  A+A-

MADURAI: The bodies of four people from a family - an elderly woman, her daughter and two grandsons in their twenties - were found charred in the thatched roof hut in their agricultural land located around five kilometers from Kilathari village near Poovanthi in Sivagangai district on Wednesday morning.

The exact cause for their death is not yet known as the Sivagangai police claimed that they are yet to ascertain whether it was a murder or an accident. 

The deceased were identified as V Sangili (70), her daughter L Muthammal (50) and Muthammal's sons L Ponnusamy (25) and L Raja (23), the only members of the family who are residing presently in the village. 

Of the three thatched roof huts located in the field, which is isolated from the village with no paved roads and sparse movement of outsiders, the one where the family used to sleep was completely gutted with only the pillar stones in the four corners standing. Two other huts, one used for storing things and the other as a goat shed, located within a hundred meters were completely intact.

While three bodies were found charred beyond recognition inside the hut, the body of the old woman was found in a partially burnt state in the periphery of the hut. A two-wheeler kept inside the hut was also completely gutted.

Their bodies were found by the friends of the two deceased youngsters who came to see them in the morning as they could not be reached over mobile phone since Tuesday night after around 7 PM, indicating that the incident could have happened around that time.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police of Madurai Range Anand Kumar Somani and Sivagangai district Superintendent of Police M Durai inspected the spot. Durai who conducted detailed inquiries at the crime scene said that it is not clear whether it was a murder although the possibility is not ruled out. 

He said that there were no tangible signs of struggle or attempts to escape by the four people as it should have been in murder. Police sources said that they are also investigating whether it could be a case of suicide or accidental fire, possibly through an illicit electricity connection that runs through the hut.

As the bodies were not in a condition to be taken out, forensic experts conducted postmortem at the crime scene itself on Wednesday afternoon.

The villagers claimed that the family did not have any disputes. According to the villagers, after Muthammal's husband Lakshmanan died due to snakebite more than 15 years ago, it was Sangili who was in charge of the family. They claimed that the family was residing in the fields for the past two decades and come to the village only occasionally.

Muthammal and Lakshmanan had three more children of which L Saravanan (21) is working in the army in Hyderabad while their two daughters, P Ponnuselvi and B Rajeswari, are married and settled in other places. 

Of the two two deceased youths, Ponnusamy is an engineering graduate while Raja who works in a private company in Coimbatore as a welder had come to the village only few days ago, apparently to assist in the cultivation of paddy which the family grows in a small patch of their predominantly barren land.. According to the villagers, the youngest son Saravanan who is in the army was on vacation and went back to work only around three days ago

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