Facing acute poverty and hunger, a tribal man in Bihar committed suicide by jumping into a gushing river after first throwing his four children into the water. Only one child survived.
Triloki Uraon, 45, a landless farm worker, plunged into the river near the Sulaihiyadah waterfall in Rohtas district on Friday after pushing his children off a cliff, the police said.
The eldest of the four kids, Manoj, 10, swam to Lutura village and saved himself.
Uraon was depressed because he was not able to get any employment, his distraught wife said. She and the children lived at her parents' house due to differences with Uraon.
"We used to quarrel because of poverty and hunger. He was upset because the children always demanded food," she said.
Uraon's father added: "The family was forced to go to bed without food at night as my son was unable to earn enough. He was worried over this."
The local administration denied that hunger drove the man to death.
The three children whose bodies were taken out of the river were identified as Priyanka Kumari, 11, Pappu Chairo, 6 and Rinki, 8. Uraon's body is yet to be recovered.
In the last 15 months, nearly half a dozen similar incidents have been reported in Bihar.
Like hundreds of poor people across Bihar, Uraon was not provided a job card under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
The scheme sponsored by the central government was launched over a year ago.
According to a World Bank report, nearly 40 per cent of Bihar's population lives below the poverty line and hundreds of thousands of poor people migrate to other states to earn a livelihood.
The job card scheme was expected to check the migration as it promises to ensure at least 100 days of work in a year.