Owner sets house on fire; two engineering students killed

The house was set ablaze Tuesday night when the students belonging to Padmanav Engineering College and Purusottam Engineering College gathered for a feast there, police said today.

The dead students were identified as Gopal Pradhan, a third year student of Padmanav Engineering College, and Philips Ekka of Purusottam Engineering College. While Pradhan died at the Ispat General Hospital here today morning, Ekka succumbed to his burn injuries this evening, police said.

The house belonged to 75 year-old Akshya Swain, a retired employee of Rourkela Steel Plant whose grandson Anup was a student of one of the engineering colleges and a participant in the feast.

Swain suddenly closed the room, where the feast was being held, from outside, poured petrol and set the house on fire. His son Ajit and grandson Anup were both in the room at the time.

The accused was arrested and produced before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate's court at Panposh during the day. He was later remanded in judicial custody.
Swain told the police that his family members were torturing him and he took the step in a fit of anger.

Property dispute between him and his son Ajit is suspected to have led to the incident, police said.

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