A 45-year-old and her 5 minor daughters were found dead on railway tracks near Imalibhata in Mahasamund district on Thursday, police said on Thursday.
District police identified the woman as Uma Sahu, a resident of Bemcha village.
According to district police, the woman was identified as Uma Sahu, a resident of Bemcha village — about 65 km from Raipur. The other deceased have been identified as her daughters Annapurna (17), Yashoda (16), Bhumika (14), Kumkum (12) and Tulasi (10).
Uma’s husband Kejau Ram Sahu, 48, told police that his wife left the house on Wednesday evening along with her daughters after a dispute between the couple.
“The husband is an alcoholic and that had been a point of contention in the family. On Wednesday, when he came home in an inebriated state, he had a fight with his wife, following which Uma left the house,” a police official privy to the case said. He added, “The couple also fought over not having a son and Uma was constantly abused by her husband over having 5 daughters.”
While Sahu claimed that he was looking for Uma and the daughters at their relatives’ houses nearby, no police complaint was filed on Wednesday night.
“He told us that she had gone away previously as well, after a fight, to a relative’s house. He thought all of them would return in the morning. But, we are investigating,” a senior officer said.
“All six bodies were found on the railway tracks, a little further from each other. It prima facie seems like a suicide, but we have found no note. Bodies have been sent for post-mortem and we are investigating,” Mahasamund Superintendent of Police, Praful Thakur, told reporters.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel also issued a statement expressing his grief and asking the district police to investigate the matter thoroughly.
The opposition BJP has gone on offensive against the state’s Congress government over the deaths, blaming it for driving villagers to suicide.
The saffron party also formed a fact-finding team to investigate the deaths. The team is going to visit the village and the family and submit its report within 3 days to the state BJP secretary.