A man accused of setting ablaze his relative's house and killing seven persons in Kodagu district was found dead by police on Tuesday. The deceased was identified as Bhoja, 55, a resident of Kanuru village and he was found dead in a paddy field.
"Some farmers spotted Bhoja's body in a paddy field on Tuesday morning, which is just a few meters away from the incident site. The nature of the death is yet to be ascertained as we are awaiting the autopsy report, but prime facie it appears that he had consumed poison," police said.
According to the investigating police, the casualties in the fire incident have mounted to seven, with one of the victims, Bhagyamma succumbing to her burn injuries on Tuesday morning. Police said that Bhoja was a worker in a coffee estate. He used to quarrel with his wife Babi over petty issues under the influence of alcohol. He killed his family members in the blaze.
"The incident took place on Saturday, after Babi, being fed up of her husband's quarrelsome behaviour and drinking habit, had left for her brother's house. Bhoja came to the place and got engaged in a heated argument with his wife, asking her to return home. Following her refusal, he went to his relativesâ€™ house after midnight and set ablaze the house after locking all its doors. Four persons were charred to death on the spot, while three others succumbed to burn injuries later," added a police officer.
An inebriated Bhoja went to his brother-in-law's house at 2 am on Saturday and locked the house from outside. He is said to have climbed the roof of the house, removed the tiles and poured petrol into the house and set it ablaze, police said.