Couple charred to death in suspected suicide pact

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UDUPI: A couple was found charred to death at their residence here on Tuesday. While initial investigation suggests it was a suicide pact, police are yet to determine the exact cause of the death of Vijay Shetty, 60, and his wife Chandrika, 49, in a fire.


The incident occurred at around 7am. Jothsna, the couple’s daughter, and Vijay’s mother, who were in a different room, escaped injury because the blaze did not spread to other rooms. The room in which Vijay and Chandrika were asleep was completely gutted. Neighbours alerted fire services on noticing the fire at around 7.45am.


The bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

Additional SP Santhosh Kumar told TOI the police suspect the incident was the result of a suicide pact. The couple had no problems with their neighbours. But they reportedly had a financial issue, he said.

Vijay, a supervisor with the Navayuga Engineering Company, always bought petrol in a can to top up his vehicle’s tank. The same fuel might have been used to set the house ablaze, police said. Forensic and postmortem reports will throw more light on the incident.


Senior police officials visited the spot, as did Udupi’s minister-in-charge Vinay Kumar Sorake. A case has been registered at the Kaup police station. A forensic team was called from KMC, Manipal, to aid the investigation.



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