An elderly couple was allegedly set ablaze and murdered by their former neighbour over a long-running enmity in their house near Kilimanoor on Saturday.
The Pallickal police identified the deceased as Prabhakarakurup,70, of Madavoor and his wife Vimala Kumar, 65. They were allegedly bludgeoned using a hammer and set ablaze by the accused Sasidharan Nair of Panappamkunnu, who also sustained significant burn injuries in the incident.
The incident occurred around 11.30 a.m. when Sasidharan, an ex-serviceman, barged into the couple’s house and attacked them using the hammer before dousing them with petrol and setting them both on fire. Their neighbours, who rushed to the house on hearing their cries, managed to douse the fire.
While Prabhakarakurup was pronounced dead on arrival at the Parippally Government Medical College Hospital, Vimala died shortly after she was shifted to the Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College Hospital.
According to the police, Sasidharan harboured a long-standing enmity against Prabhakarakurup, who had taken the former’s son to Bahrain 29 years ago in a bid to help him find a job. However, the youth committed suicide after he failed to land himself a job. Sasidharan has ever since blamed Prabhakarakurup for the tragedy that befell his family.
While the deceased couple used to reside near Sasidharan’s house, they shifted to a new house in Madavoor. Sasidharan had, meanwhile, lodged a complaint against Prabharakurup, accusing him of being responsible for his son’s death. However, a court ruled in favour of the accused on Friday. The verdict is suspected to have led Sasidharan to resort to the violent attack on the couple, the police said.