'Jealous siblings burnt alive farmer's family'

'Jealous siblings burnt alive farmer's family'

 Bhojanna, the farmer from Manchanabele in Ramanagaram district whose wife and grown-up son were burnt alive in their home shortly after Saturday midnight, has a simmering property dispute with his siblings, according to a friend of the victim’s.

Bhojanna is the youngest of four siblings. The family has an ancestral property of more than 50 acres near KM Doddi in Mandya district. Bhojanna also owns five acres of land in Manchanabele. Some years ago, he found that the sand on his land was of good quality. He started mining it and made some money. His siblings got jealous and started quarrelling with him, said a friend of Bhojanna’s, requesting anonymity.

Residents described Bhojanna as a man who has friends in Manchanabele and the surrounding villages. The burning alive of his family has stunned the villagers.

Kunaiah lives just a stone’s throw away from Bhojanna’s house. He said he was a close friend of Bhojanna’s. He said he was one of the first people to rush to Bhojanna’s house when the flames were noticed. “It was around 12.30 am and I was watching television. I heard someone shouting and ran out. I was shocked to see Bhojanna’s house in flames. I called the neighbours for help but saw that their houses were also locked from outside. Some men ran to the house and we all tried to open the doors but they were tied with a log and ropes,” he said.

Unable to do anything, the villagers called the police. A while later, they managed to break open the front door of the house and rushed the members of the family to hospital.

Bhojanna’s son, Bharath, was dead by then. Bhojanna and his wife, Vijayalakshmi, were fighting for life. Bhojanna’s elder son, Anil Kumar, was not at home. Residents described Bharath, who was studying mechanical engineering at Raja Rajeswari College of Engineering in Bengaluru, as a brilliant student who aspired to become an IAS officer. He was planning to attend coaching classes for civil services examination.

First attempt failed

In March 2015, an attempt was made to kill Bhojanna and his family in a similar manner. But the attackers could not execute their plan properly. However, Bhojanna had informed the police that he did not want to file a complaint. He had not given convincing answers about the attackers, said a senior police officer.

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