Thrissur: In a shocking incident, a man set his son and family on fire before attempting suicide in Chirakkakode near Mannuthy here in the wee hours of Thursday. The son and grandson, who were undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kochi, succumbed to injuries later. The daughter-in-law is in critical condition. They had suffered over 70 per cent burns.
According to Mannuthy police, Kottekkattil Johnson set ablaze his son Joji (40), daughter-in-law Liji (34) and grandson Tendulkar (12) after a domestic fight, while they were sleeping in their bedroom.
“An agitated Johnson poured petrol on his son and family and set them on fire. He suffered burns in the process. Johnson also tried to commit suicide by consuming poison. The trio was admitted to a private hospital in Ernakulam town with serious injuries. Johnson is admitted in a Thrissur-based hospital,” the officer said.
The incident came to light when a neighbour alerted local residents about the fire.
“We came to know about the incident, when a youngster who stays next to Johnson's house noticed flames inside the house at around 12.30 am. He immediately alerted local residents and the fire was doused in a few minutes by spraying water from outside the house,” Sanoj, a cooperative bank employee who resides near Johnson’s house told Onmanorama.
“The front door was locked from inside. Johnson’s wife, who was sleeping in another room, unlocked the door. She was not injured,” he added.
On spotting his neighbours, Johnson rushed behind the house. The men later found him unconscious on the terrace of the house.
According to sources, Johnson and Joji, a heavy vehicle driver, used to quarrel frequently over the partition of family property.
“They all lived in a single-storey house. Joji wanted the ownership of the house, as he had given around Rs 10 lakhs to his elder brother to build a new home. However, Johnson, who worked as a mason and later a security guard at the Kerala Agricultural University on contract, was not ready to hand over the property. On Wednesday, they had a verbal spat over the issue,” said member Shinoj MS, who represents Johnson's ward in Madakkathara Grama Panchayat. A team of police officers have left for Ernakulam to collect further details.