A family of four is believed to have set themselves on fire due to financial stress from the coronavirus lockdown.
Police found a 40-year-old brick-kiln supervisor, his 36-year-old wife and their two children, aged 10 and 15, dead in their home in a village near Faridkot, India early on Saturday morning.
Officers suspect that the parents killed themselves and their children due to the contents of what appeared to be a suicide note found at the scene.
The note had been signed by the husband, and mentioned the economic hardship their family was facing due to India’s Covid-19 lockdown. It detailed their dwindling financial resources that had taken a huge hit from the devastating pandemic.
The man had also texted friends and neighbours earlier in the morning, seemingly warning them of his plans, but had not received a reply before he died.
It remains unknown whether or not the couple’s two children were burned in their sleep or if they were aware of what was happening.
Superintendent of Police Faridkot Sewa Singh Malhi said the family was originally from Rajasthan.
“The supervisor had sent text messages to villagers before ending his life, but everyone was sleeping at that time,” he told local media.
“The villagers found him and his family, including his 36-year-old wife, dead later.”
An investigation into the deaths has been opened and a forensics team is at the scene.
“We are trying to ascertain if the children, a 15-year-old daughter, and a 10-year-old son, were awake or if they were burnt alive in their sleep,” Malhi added.
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