//'Haunted' family of five commits suicide

'Haunted' family of five commits suicide

Raipur: Blaming a ghost for its misfortunes, a family of five – including a six-year-old – set itself on fire in Chhattisgarh and the charred bodies were found many hours later, police said Friday.

The incident took place in an impoverished village, Karhidhapai, in Bilaspur district, 90 km north of state capital Raipur.

"Ramkumar Sahu, 45, had been facing a serious economic crisis and two of his five family members used to have minor but regular health problems  which they held a ghost responsible.

"On March 1 midnight they locked themselves in a room and set themselves on fire," Bilaspur police chief B.S. Marawi told IANS on telephone.

He said Sahu, his wife Nirabai, son Chandrakumar, daughter-in-law Bhuribai and six-year-old grandson Omprakash died within two hours. Villagers came to know about the incident Thursday evening and police recovered the charred bodies of all the five deceased.

In Chhattisgarh, where tribals and the Scheduled Castes make up 44 percent of the 20.07 million population, witchcraft and superstition-related deaths are common