A couple has been arrested by the police for allegedly killing four people, including a seven-month-old child, by setting a house on fire in Doda district on March 1.
“ We have arrested Mangta Butt, son of Lala Batt and his wife Shamshada for the crime,” Doda SSP Zahid Manhas said. The accused were sent to a 10-day police remand on Tuesday.
Police say Butt had an old enmity with the deceased Abdul Rashid, who was also a distant cousin of his. Police said the accused had earlier levelled charges regarding the “character” of the daughter-in-law, who was among the four dead.
Rashid brought this matter before the local panchayat which had then reprimanded the accused publicly. Police said the incident left the accused humiliated.
After the fire, police said, the local villagers got suspicious of the involvement of the accused and some even squarely blamed him. When this came to their knowlegde, the SSP said, police started its investigation .
“It was a cold-blooded murder. The accused set the house on fire from all sides and even pushed in pine leaves from the window which resulted in acute suffocation. Subsequently, the four family members fell unconscious,” Manhas said.