Jammu & Kashmir Police Wednesday arrested a couple for the deaths of four members of a family in Doda district.
Identifying the couple as Mangta Butt and, his wife, Shamshada, Senior Superintendent of Police, Doda, Zahid Manhas said that the accused were distant relatives of the deceased. They have confessed the crime, he added.
Abdul Rashid, 55, his wife Fata Begum, 50, daughter-in-law Mubeena and his seven-month-old granddaughter were burnt alive in a fire that broke out inside their house at Gaddan village, nearly 25 kms from Doda town, under mysterious circumstances during wee hours of March 1. All the four were asleep inside the house at that time.
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The two families, police said, had a history of bad blood between them. Pointing out that both the families had not been on talking terms for nearly one-and-a-half years, SSP Manhas said that trouble escalated between them when Mangta Butt publicly leveled charges on the character of Abdul Rahid’s pregnant daughter-in-law some seven months ago. Mangta, who had four daughters, was allegedly jealous as Abdul Rashid’s son Nissar Ahmed had got married to someone else.
Abdul Rashid had complained to the village panchayat, who had reprimanded Mangta Butt for leveling false charges on his daughter-in-law. Last month, Rashid allegedly applied mud to Mangta’s beard.
To avenge the insult, Mangta, along with his wife, set Abdul Rashid’s house on fire on the intervening night of February 29 and March 1. To ensure that the fire spread faster, the couple used pine needles to torch the house from all sides. However, Abdul Rashid’s son Nissar escaped unhurt as he was away to Doda town at that time.