Ten people, including five children, were today burnt alive and three injured when villagers agitated over the murder of a village head set ablaze some houses in Thuthibari area, police said.

Dina Nath Singh was shot dead by Ayodhya Dubey, Dwarka Dubey, Krishna Murari, Dhirendra Kumar Dubey and others over an old land dispute in Digahi village this morning, Special Director General of Police (law and order) Brij Lal told reporters here.

He said that police reached the spot and detained some of the accused after facing resistance from the supporters of Dina Nath.

Once the police party left, the supporters of Dina Nath torched houses of Dwarka Dubey and Ayodhya Dubey in which five children, two men and three women died either due to burn injuries or asphyxia, he said.

When police tried to control the situation, they were prevented from entering the village and the local residents pelted stones, officials said.

“Dina Nath along with others purchased a plot of land which was with the Dubey family and three cases were pending in different courts in this connection,” he said.

While Dina Nath’s side wanted possession of the land, Dubey’s family refused to part with it.

“Preventive action was taken by the police and on March 6 both the parties were called, but they refused to settle the dispute,” Mr. Brij Lal said.

He said that heavy police force has been deployed in the village and an additional company of PAC has been provided by the DGP office.

Meanwhile, SP D K Shekhar said that four persons have been arrested and interrogated in this connection and 40 others have been nabbed for arson.