In a tragic incident, four minor children and their mother were charred to death after the room in which they were sleeping caught fire and the roof collapsed in village Thothian, about 28 kilometers from Amritsar.
The deceased were identified as Manjeet Kaur (42), her three daughters Komalpreet Kaur (16), Navpreet Kaur (12), Kajal (14) and son named Jaskaran.
Jatinder Singh, the father of the kids worked in Kolkatta and the entire family was sleeping in a single room when the tragedy took place.
Talking to HT, SSP Amritsar (rural), PS Virk said, "The family had burnt a coal hearth to keep the room warm and closed the door and window. It is believed that first the kids and their mother got suffocated and fell unconscious and later some sparks led to fire. The blaze turned volatile and the roof of the room also collapsed."
When the police team reached in the wee hours, the bodies of all the deceased were totally burnt.
As HT team visited the village, shock prevailed in the entire area and villagers claimed that efforts were made by the people to control the fire but it was too late.
Holding a government document that had a picture of his grandchildren and daughter in law, Jagat Singh said, "My son Jatinder lives in Kolkata to earn livelihood for his family. But in almost no time everything is lost. I cannot explain the shock we are going through. Everything is finished for us."
Jagat Singh, who lived at a distance from the house where tragedy took place said, "I was informed in the early morning by someone about the whole episode. My son has also been told and he is rushing back."
Amritsar deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal had also sent a team from the administration to look into the entire incident.
Talking to HT, DC Rajat Aggarwal said, "As a special case, the kin of family will be given compensation from the chief minister's relief fund."
Till now, the reason seems that the kids and their mother fell unconscious due to emissions from the coal hearth and later it took a serious turn when the room caught fire. However police is still investigating the matter, added DC Aggarwal.