“All the named accused escaped soon after the incident. A search is on to nab them accused. This case will be recommended for speedy trial," the SP stated.
The victims, Simpi Devi and her daughters, Soni Kumari (7), Sushma (5), and Anchal Kumari (2), were killed in the house of Deven Singh at Arania village under Janadaha police station.
Quoting the dying declaration of the victim at the Patna medical college and hospital (PMCH), the Vaishali SP said a gold ornament belonging to her sister in-law (husband’s sister) had gone ‘missing’ a few days ago.“Simpi Devi was suspected of having stolen the gold ornament. She was allegedly being tortured by her husband and in-laws over the matter,” the SP said.
The sister of the victim’s husband had come to the village to attend the shraddh ceremony of her grandmother when her ornament went ‘missing’."Around 9 pm on Wednesday, kerosene was sprinkled on the victim and her three minor children and they were set alight, allegedly by her in-laws. The girls died instantly while Simpi succumbed to burns at PMCH on Thursday afternoon," the SP said.
Some locals claimed a village ojha (exorcist) had been summoned a few days ago to trace the ornament and the needle of suspicion had been pointed towards Simpi.The SP admitted the police were looking into the exorcist angle in the case.