Forced by abject poverty, a mother poisoned three young girls to death and then consumed poison at Harivansh Bahuara village in East Champaran district, around 155 km north of Patna, on Tuesday.
Prema Devi, 35, the accused, is now battling for life at the Motihari Sadar Hospital here.
The deceased have been identified as Amrita Kumari (20), Guddi Kumari (18) and Guddan Kumari (14). They were all students of a local government school. Devi reportedly had a tiff with her husband, Raghvendra Ojha, a private tutor, over buying a few things for supper on Tuesday.
Villagers said the family would often squabble over money. The woman even used to demand money from her father-in-law, a retired teacher, they added. She took the extreme step on Tuesday when Ojha again claimed that he was broke as Devi sought money for household items.
Station house officer of Kalyanpur police station, Sanjay Swaroop, attributed the deaths to a family feud arising out of poverty. He said the post-mortem examination had been conducted.
The woman was initially sent to Kalyanpur primary health centre and subsequently referred to the Motihari Sadar Hospital.