Seven of family allegedly commit suicide

Keonjhar: Driven by acute poverty, a woman and her six children, including four girls, allegedly committed suicide while her husband was in a critical condition after consuming poison in Keonjhar district, police said on Friday.

The victims belonged to Sriharinagar in Bargarh district and they took to the drastic step near a river bridge at Katarabeda in Keonjhar district yesterday, they said.

The head of the family Uttar Meher (42), who is struggling for his life at the hospital at Ghatagaon, had confessed before the police that driven by acute poverty they had done so, police said.

All the children were aged between three and 14 years. The family had reached Ghatagaon on a pilgrimage to have darshan of the presiding deity `Maa Tarini` on the occasion of Maha Visuba Sankranti yesterday.

Then they boarded a bus towards Keonjhar and got down near Katarabeda. They went to nearby Sita river bridge through forest and allegedly consumed poison.

Palpable marks on the neck of victims indicated that after they consumed poison, Uttar was suspected to have strangulated his wife and six children to death, police said.

A passer by informed the police about the incident.