In a crime that has shaken Dulla village in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district, a 27-year-old man allegedly set a woman's house on fire, killing two children and injuring at least four others. Two persons are said to be critical.
The incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday and the accused has been identified as Srinivas alias Srinu (27). The police said that he barged into the Satyavathi's house as they were sleeping, poured petrol all around and set the house on fire before bolting the door from outside and fleeing.
The two children Ramu and Vijayalakshmi were killed in the fire. The injured include Satyavathi, Durga Bhavani, and two other children.
Speaking to the media, locals alleged that the accused may have resorted to the extreme step as Satyavathi had agreed to his marriage with her younger daughter, but later refused to go ahead, as she had issues with his behaviour.
As the younger daughter had married someone else, the accused was said to be holding a grudge.
Neighbours also told the media that Srinivas had recently visited the Satyavathi’s house on January 17 and allegedly tried to attack people with a knife, injuring one person. Though the family had approached the police at the time, no action was taken, they alleged.
"The woman had married someone else around a year ago and the accused is said to have been quarelling frequently with the family since then. The woman was at her husband's village at the time of the attack," a police officer from the Kadiam police station told TNM.
The police have visited the spot and taken statements of neighbours and other locals, while forensic teams gathered evidence from the crime scene.
Police have also released visuals of CCTV footage, which show the accused purchasing petrol from a bunk at around 1.20 am on January 22. They suspect that the accused then travelled to the house of the woman, and set it on fire.
A case has been registered under sections of the IPC dealing with murder and damage to property. Those injured in the incident are undergoing treatment in the Rajamahendravaram government hospital.
The police said that further details would be revealed soon. A manhunt has been launched to nab Srinivas.