A 35-year-old woman who was reportedly depressed over not having a male child and her three daughters died after she set them and herself ablaze at their house in Kapurvav village of Surendranagar district on Saturday evening.
The woman,Jomi Sonda,and two daughters Shital(3),Khama(5) died on the spot while the third one,Mamta(11),died in hospital on Sunday. The fourth daughter,Nayna(7) who also sustained severe burn injuries,is battling for life at the Rajkot Civil Hospital.
Her youngest daughter Gabi was playing outside when the incident took place.
Interrogation of her family members,including husband Sangram and sisters-in-law,revealed she used to feel guilty for giving birth only to girls. She was married for 12 years and wanted a male child, said a local police officer.
Police said the incident occurred when Sangram,who runs a small tea shop at their village,was at his shop. Investigation revealed several litres of kerosene were used.
A case of murder and suicide has been registered against Jomi,police said,adding,So far,her parents have not talked about any pressure or torture to her from anyone for a male child. If we find she was tortured over the issue,respective sections will be added in the complaint.
The family belongs to the Bharwad (Shepard) community,which has been identified as one of the socially backward communities. Its literacy rate is less than 10 per cent.