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11 Members Of Pakistan Hindu Migrant Family Found Dead In Jodhpur

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Jodhpur: Eleven members of a family of Pakistan Hindu migrants were found dead at a farm in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district on Sunday morning, police said.

The dead included five children and four women.

A member of the family was found alive outside the hut they lived at Lodta village of the Dechu area, over 100 km away from Jodhpur city, an officer said.

“But he claimed to have no idea about the incident, which believed to have happened in the night,” said Superintendent of Police (Rural) Rahul Barhat.

He said they are examining whether it is a suicide or something else.

We are yet not in a position to tell whether it was a suicide, an accidental casualty or something else. We have sent the bodies for autopsy by a medical board and will wait for its report, said the SP.

He said a half-consumed canister of a pesticide and some vials were recovered from their hut. Police also found a note from the spot and verifying its writing.

The family belonging to the Bhil community had come to India from Sanghar district of Pakistan’s Sindh in 2015 on a long-term visa. They had been living at the Lodta village farm, which they had hired for farming, for the past six months.

There was neither any injury mark on any of the bodies nor any evidences of any foul play, the SP said. “But we have roped in a forensic team and a dog squad before arriving at any conclusion,” he said.

Preliminary investigation indicated that there was a dispute in the family over some issue.

“Once we interrogate the survivor, we would be in a position to find out what had led to this incident,” the SP said.

Meanwhile, Kewal Ram (35), the surviving member of the family, lodged a complaint against his wife’s family, alleging that “it was not a suicide but murder”.

Confirming it, the SP said his wife has not been living with him for the past some time due to some dispute. She has been allegedly pressuring them for the custody of her children, the SP said.

The officer, however, said Kewal Ram is also a suspect in the case, considering his “escape from the incident and changing statements”.

According Kewal Ram, they had dinner between 9 pm and 10 pm on Saturday night and went to sleep.

I went to guard our crop from animals and slept there, he said.

According to him, he found all his family members dead when he came in the morning.

I then called my nephew who rushed to the spot with some other persons and informed police,” said Kewal Ram, expressing his ignorance about the incident.

Those, who died have been identified as Budharam (75); his wife Antara Devi; son Ravi (31); daughters Jiya (25) and Suman (22); grandsons Mukdash (17) and Nain (12); Laxmi (40) and three minor sons of Kewal Ram.

The bodies have been sent for autopsy in Jodhpur and a medical board has been constituted to find out the cause of their death.

Meanwhile, Jodhpur MP and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat lashed out at the state government, saying the incident raises a question mark over the “working style” of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

The deceased include two men, four women and five children. One after other, very frightening incidents reflecting the deteriorating situation of the state, are coming to the fore. The government should swing into action and clear the picture,” Shekhawat tweeted.

The president of the Seemant Lok Sangthan, Hindu Singh Sodha, demanded a fair probe into the incident. He also spoke to the survivor and police officers.

(PTI)

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