Two minor girls allegedly died of asphyxiation due smoke emitting from a portable coal heater in their room at Maisar Khana village in Bathinda district in the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
The Nepali family of five used to live in a room on the premises of a Durga temple in the village. The victims’ father Laxman works as a cook in the temple.
As per police, Laxman, his wife and three daughters were sleeping in the room when the incident took place. They had lighted an earthen heater in extreme cold. The girls, Manisha (6) and Ranjana (10), were unwell too. On Friday morning, the entire family did not wake up and when the temple staff went to their room, they were all lying unconscious.
While Manisha and Ranjana had died, Laxman, his wife and the third daughter, Asha (14), were found unconscious and rushed to a local hospital. They are now stable and out of danger. The two girls were declared dead on arrival by doctors.
Maur DSP Surinder Kumar said that prima facie the girls died due to asphyxiation, but their viscera samples have been sent for further examination. Police have filed inquest proceedings under Section 174 of CrPC in the case.