A 30-year-old woman and her two children were found dead in their house at Karanjade village in Panvel around 11 am Monday. Police suspect the woman,Mamta Chauhan,poisoned or strangled the children Shivam (3) and eight-month-old Rani before committing suicide,and are questioning her husband Ashok,a roadside snack-seller.
They said five minutes after Ashok stepped out to buy groceries,neighbours saw smoke coming out of his house and raised an alarm. They broke open the door to the house to find Mamta and the two kids almost completely burnt.
The neigbours rushed the three to hospital,where both children were declared dead before admission. Mamta died while receiving treatment.
All evidence recovered so far points to suicide. Had there been an accidental fire,it would have damaged a part of the house,not engulfed the trio alone. Also,no screams were heard from the house, said senior inspector Ramesh Ghadavle,Panvel police station. We searched the house but found no suicide note. We are awaiting post-mortem reports as we suspect Mamta poisoned or strangled the children before setting herself and them on fire, he said.