Thrissur man who set son and family ablaze dies a week after suicide bid

Thrissur govt medical college
The man breathed his last while undergoing treatment at Govt. Medical College Hospital in Thrissur. Photo: Screengrab/ Manorama News

Thrissur: The man who consumed poison after setting his son, daughter-in-law and grandson on fire following  a property dispute died at Thrissur Government medical college hospital on Thursday. Mannuthy native Kottekkattil Johnson (69) breathed his last exactly a week after the incident. 

It was in the wee hours of September 14 that Johnson set his son and his family on fire and tried to commit suicide by consuming poison in Chirakkakode near Mannuthy in Thrissur district. Johnson’s son Joji (40), and grandson Tendulkar (12) succumbed to the burn injuries later that day at a private hospital in Ernakulam, while daughter-in-law Liji (34) is still fighting for life in the same hospital. 

According to Mannuthy police, Johnson locked the trio in their bedroom from outside, poured petrol through the window and set them ablaze following an argument at home. Johnson had also burnt himself during the incident. When the neighbours who noticed the fire inside Johnson’s house rushed for the rescue, Johnson fled to the backside of the house. The locals later found him unconscious, lying on the terrace of the house after consuming poison.

Mannuthy police said Johnson had a clear intention to kill his son. Johnson and Joji used to quarrel frequently over the partition of their family property. According to locals, Joji wanted ownership of the ancestral house, as he had given around Rs 10 lakhs to his elder brother to build a new house. However, Johnson, who worked as a mason and later security guard at the Kerala Agricultural University on contract, was not ready to hand over the property. 

Joji was a heavy vehicle driver, while Liji was working as a temporary employee at the Kerala Agricultural University. Their son Tendulkar was a seventh-standard student at the Jeevan Jyothi Public School, Thalikode in Pattikkad. 

Johnson’s wife Sarah, who was sleeping in a separate room in the house when the incident took place, got away unhurt.

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