An alleged dispute over pathway through an arecanut plantation led to the killing of three siblings at Bhadrapur village in Bhadravati taluk on Monday, the police said.

The three identified as Chandru (38), and Prakash and Ramesh, twins aged 35, were hacked to death with sickles by eight persons.

According to a complaint lodged with the police by Nagappa, father of the victims, eight persons — identified as Shekharappa, Hanumantha, Paramesh, Harish, Gopi, Maruthi, Avinash and Arun, of the same village — were responsible for the ghastly murders.

Mr. Nagappa maintained that the pathway that led to his paddy field passed through an arecanut plantation owned by families of the accused persons. There was a dispute over the use of the path between the families and there were frequent quarrels over the issue.

On Monday, the victims were carrying food for the workers engaged in paddy transplantation when they were attacked.

The assailants had objected to their movement through the arecanut plantation.

Superintendent of Police Koushalendra Kumar visited the spot.

Police were deployed in large numbers in the village to prevent any retaliatory attacks.

All the accused were stated to be absconding.