TIRUNELVELI : A construction labourer, addicted to liquor, murdered his three daughters and committed suicide by setting himself afire over a dispute with his wife at Tharuvai near here on Thursday.
According to sources, the construction labourer, Rajasekar (29), was living with wife Mehala (26) and their three daughters — Muthulakshmi alias Abi (8), a third standard student, Kaviya (6), a first standard student and Arthi (3) — at Amman Kovil street in Tharuvai near here. Police said that Rajasekar was addicted to liquor and used to come home drunk. On Wednesday also Rajasekar came home in an inebriated condition and a dispute broke out between him and Mehala.
Unable to tolerate Rajasekar’s behaviour, Mehala tried to go her parent’s house in the next street along with the children. However, Rajasekar prevented her from taking the children. So Mehala alone went to her parent’s house.
Later in the night, a completely drunk Rajasekar took some pesticide and mixed it with hair dye and served it to the children. When his youngest daughter, Arthi, refused to drink it, Rajasekar strangulated her to death. He then forced Muthulakshmi and Kaviya to consume the pesticide before sleeping near them.
On Thursday morning, a sober Rajasekar realised that he had murdered his own children. Unable to bear the guilt, he tried to cut the veins on his wrists using a knife in an attempt to end his life. Unable to do so, Rajasekar went into the kitchen, poured kerosene and set himself afire.
Smoke coming out of the house and Rajasekar’s screams alerted the neighbours. They rushed to the spot and were shocked to find the three little girls lying dead and Rajasekar on fire. The neighbours doused the blaze and took Rajasekar to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. He sustained over 90 per cent burns and succumbed at the hospital hours later.
Tirunelveli district Superintendent of Police V Vikraman visited the spot and held inquiries.
Police officials said that Rajasekar had married Mehala eight years ago after a love affair.
He took to drinking soon after and quickly became an alcoholic. Rajasekar also used to beat up Mehala after coming home drunk.
Unable to bear the torture, Mehala had gone back to her parent’s house a few days ago. Rajasekar then met Mehala’s parents and relatives and brought her back home only on Wednesday morning.