The neighbour of 45-year-old Rajinder Saxena, whose charred body was found along with that of his wife and two children inside their multi-storey residence in Uttam Nagar here on Saturday, has been arrested along with his wife and son on charges of abetment to suicide.

A suicide note scribbled on the wall of a puja room on the fourth floor of the building, the businessman who ran a namkeen-bhujia factory in the Bawana Industrial Area, said that he had been forced to immolate himself along with his wife (Amita Singh) and two children (10-year-old Tipu and eight-year-old Soyam). He accused his neighbour Butaram, a jeweller, his wife Usha Rani and their son Sukhdev of constantly harassing the family especially after Sukhdev lost a legal case to him. Mr. Saxena also sought legal action against the three. Based on the suicide note, the police have arrested the three accused.

Relatives of Mr. Saxena also alleged that he had lodged complaints against the neighbours with the local police, but they did not take any action. Conceding that a complaint had been lodged by the businessman about eight months ago, a senior police officer said the local police could not initiate any action on its own as it was not a cognisable offence. “The complainant had made allegations about unsavoury comments being made by his neighbours, who had also lodged a complaint against him,” said the officer.

In his complaint to the police, Amita’s brother Jaiprakash said his sister had met Mr. Saxena while working at a company and they got married about 12 years ago. Initially they lived in a rented accommodation and then in 2009, Rajinder bought the Uttam Nagar property from Butaram for Rs.39 lakh. “My brother-in-law made the entire payment, but soon they started demanding Rs.22 lakh more on the pretext that circle rates had increased. When he refused to pay up, they threatened him and my sister of dire consequences,” he alleged.

With an intention to harass the businessman, the neighbours started taking up altercations with him over the parking of his vehicle outside the house. They would allegedly puncture his car’s tyres. They would allegedly send their men who posing as prospective buyers of the property would pass lewd remarks at Anita. On frivolous issues, the neighbours would hurl abuses at the family and also send their men to Mr. Saxena’s factory to humiliate him. All this became an almost a daily affair.

The accused would steal letters from the mail box and tear them off. They did not even spare the children, because of which they had to dropout of school.

The neighbours also allegedly slapped a false case demanding recovery of Rs.15 lakh from Mr. Saxena, which he had recently won. However, this aggravated the matter further for him.

On Friday night, when Jaiprakash went to meet his brother-in-law and sister, they handed him over an envelope and Rs.25,000 and asked him to hand them over to a bank manager. Realising that the two were disturbed, Jaiprakash called them up around 12-30 a.m. on Saturday, but they were then sounding normal.

The next morning he called up his brother-in-law and found that his mobile phone was switched off. Around 8 a.m. he went to his residence to check on him when he discovered that the Saxenas were charred to death.

The incident came to light around 5 a.m. when a neighbour of the Saxenas noticed smoke billowing from the ventilators on the top floor of their house and raised an alarm. While efforts were made to put out the blaze, the police later entered the house and found the charred bodies of Mr. Saxena, his wife and their two children.

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