October 18, 2020 2:59:40 am
Four members of a family, including a brick kiln munim (accountant) and his two minor children, were found burned alive at their home in Faridkot’s Kaler village early Saturday with the police suspecting it to be a case of mass suicide.
Police found a three-page suicide note written by Dharampal (40), which detailed the difficulties he had faced during the lockdown, imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It also mentioned that he had taken a loan of Rs 8 lakh, which he had been unable to repay.
Faridkot SP Sewa Singh Malhi told The Indian Express, “He had brought an LPG cylinder inside the room where the entire family was sleeping. He locked the room from inside, poured 10 litres of kerosene over himself and the family members, removed the regulator of the cylinder and started a fire. Within no time, the room was up in slames and the family was burnt alive. As of now we have taken action under Section 174 of the CrPC (accidental death). We are investigating the suicide note to find the persons with whom Dharampal had to do the transaction of Rs 8 lakh.”
Originally from Sikar area of Rajasthan, Dharampal had been living in Faridkot for the past 10 years with his wife Seema, 36, daughter Monica, 15, and son Hitesh, 10. He worked as a munim ) at a brick kiln belonging to one Keemti Lal, on the outskirts of the village.
“In the note, he mentioned that he had taken a loan of Rs 8 lakh from someone and had to give the same amount to someone else. Earlier, when the kiln used to function as usual, he used to clear the pending payments. However, due to the lockdown, brick kilns remained closed and are still not back on track. The circle of money got disturbed. He could neither get Rs 8 lakh, nor was able to repay it.”
Before taking the extreme step, Dharampal had sent messages to a couple of his friends at 4 am, in which, police said, he mentioned that he was going to take his life. However, his friends saw the messages around 5.30 am and by that time, the family was dead.
Police said his neighbours had tried to pry open the locked door on noticing the fumes, but no one could be saved by the time police reached.
The suicide note also mentioned that he had cleared pending dues of all shops at the village.
The victim’s family arrived from Sikar late Saturday afternoon and a post-mortem was conducted by a board of doctors before cremating the bodies.
Faridkot SSP Swarndeep Singh said, “We are investigating the matter. Preliminary findings say that he was in a financial problem due to the lockdown period. The flow of money had stopped because the brick kiln did not operate.”
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