Land broker’s hand suspected in the gory crime

A family of six, including four children and a woman, were burnt to death in a hut where they were sleeping at Thoppu Valasai near Uchipuli in Ramanathapuram district on Sunday night.

Police said that Kallazhagar, working in Dubai as a worker with a construction firm, had left his wife Kalimuthu (30) and four children — Kaliswari (12), Balamurugan (8), Saranya (5), and Sakthi (1) — in the care of his father-in-law Karuppiah (50).

The hut measuring about 300 square feet was located close to the sea shore. The roof caught fire and within a few minutes it caved in killing all the occupants. Uchipuli police have registered a case of murder and are on the lookout for the culprits.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Ramanathapuram Range) M. Ramasubramani visited the spot and conducted preliminary inquiries. It is suspected that the miscreants might have poured either petrol or kerosene on the roof and set it ablaze. The bodies were completely charred.

Initial probe revealed that Kallazhagar had been getting threats from a land broker in connection with a sale of small piece of land. As he did not succumb to the pressure, the land broker might have hired a gang to set the hut on fire. A hunt is on to nab the land broker. Mr. Ramasubramani said that the police have obtained some vital clues. Special teams comprising two Deputy Superintendants of Police and Inspectors have been formed.

A sniffer dog which was brought to the scene of crime ran towards the sea shore, but could not take any scent beyond the point. A pall of gloom descended on the coastal hamlet.