An engineer working with a public sector undertaking in Madhya Pradesh has made the chilling revelation that he burnt to death his wife and two daughters, aged nine and two, in his car as part of an alleged suicide pact after finding out that he and his family were HIV-positive.
The 39-year-old engineer, who cannot be named because of legal provisions, told police he had intended to kill himself too but survived as he got out of the blazing vehicle to try and save his children after his wife had a sudden change of heart.
The incident occurred at Multai town in Betul district, 250 km south of Bhopal, on March 3. At the time, the engineer and his family were returning from a visit to his hometown of Amravati in Maharashtra to Bundelkhand region, where he was posted.
After turning himself in to police in Amravati on Monday, the engineer claimed he and his wife had decided they would commit suicide after killing their children on the road trip.
The engineer was brought by police to Multai on Tuesday morning for questioning.
Multai’s station house officer S K Singh said, “We shall get a fresh HIV test conducted on him to know the truth. He is being interrogated. He will be produced in court on Wednesday and police remand will be sought.”
The engineer said he and his 37-year-old wife had tested positive for HIV about seven months ago. They then got their daughters tested and found they were positive too.
The family went to Amravati on February 28. On the return journey, the engineer stopped at Gaunapur Ghat in Multai, sprinkled petrol over the car and set it on fire. He then pushed the burning car off the road and jumped in.
The engineer told police his wife suddenly had a change of heart and pleaded with him to save the children, who were asleep, because they were not responsible for the infection. He agreed and got out of the car to drag the children out, but by then the flames had engulfed the vehicle.
The engineer abandoned his wife and daughters in the burning car and went to Amravati. He then went to Mumbai and Nagpur, trying to come to terms with what he had done. Finally, he told his family and friends about the incident and they asked him to turn himself in.
His wife's brother, however, rejected his statement and sought a proper probe to get to the bottom of the incident.