The police have arrested a KSRTC bus driver a day after the gruesome tragedy at Beedi Colony in Azeez Sait Nagar where five members of a family died of burns and three others suffered severe injuries early on Friday. The bus driver, Abdul Sharif (50), said to be the prime accused in the case was nabbed from Sindhuvalli village in Mysore taluk on Friday night.

Five members of the family — Mohammad Ameer Jan, his two daughters Parveen Taj, Rizwana Banu and her two children Arbia Banu and Mohammad Arhan — died on the spot after their house (No. 249) in Beedi Colony in Udaigiri police station limits caught fire and triggered an LPG cylinder explosion around 3 a.m. on Friday, a release from the office of the Commissioner of Police said here on Saturday.

Ameer Jan’s wife, Afroze Begum, and daughter Reshma Anjum, who sustained burns, are being treated at the Burns Ward in K.R. Hospital. Mohammad Yasin, the grandson of Ameer Jan, escaped with minor burns. Eight persons were in the house when the tragedy struck.

The Udaigiri police have registered a case of murder based on a complaint from Ms. Reshma, who blamed Sharif for the incident.

Acting on her statement, Police Commissioner K.L. Sudheer constituted a special team to nab the accused. Experts from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bangalore, also arrived and inspected the site of the tragedy.

The police are ascertaining whether kerosene or petrol was used to set the house on fire.

Abdul Sharif had revealed to the police upon interrogation that he had been buying native medicines from Ameer Jan. “There was some financial issue between them which led to the accused pestering Ameer Jan to return his money. They had quarrelled several times over the issue,” the release said.

On the previous night of the tragedy, they quarrelled again. An angry Abdul Sharif went to Ameer Jan’s house and torched it.

The fire spread triggering the LPG cylinder explosion, said the police.

Considering the gravity of the case, the Police Commissioner has asked Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Shantanu Sinha and the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Devaraja, to further investigate the case.

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