A woman and her two sons died from burns that they suffered after a fire broke out in their house in Maheshtala in South 24-Parganas district, around 20km south of Kolkata, late on Saturday.
The fire was reported from the single-storey rented home of the Mondals in Purba Para in Akra around 11.30pm on Saturday, police said.
Soma Mondal and her two sons, aged 12 and 10 years, were in the house when residents of the area noticed a portion of the house in flames. Husband Provash Mondal was not at home.
Neighbours and residents of the area tried to bring the fire under control.
Soma and the sons suffered severe burns, the police said.
Cops took the three to a hospital nearby where doctors declared them dead.
The house has been sealed and forensic experts have been asked to scan it to ascertain the cause of the fire.
“The findings of the forensic team is crucial in this case since it will ascertain whether it was a deliberate act of crime or an accidental fire,” said an officer of Maheshtala police station.
Soma’s relatives have lodged a complaint accusing her husband Provash of murdering her and the sons, the police said.
The police have detained Provash following the complaint.
“How come the house was ravaged but the LPG cylinders remained intact? We believe it’s a plot by Soma’s husband,” said Soma’s brother Somnath Das.
Soma married Provash after the death of her first husband, family members said.
They alleged that Provash would often ask Soma’s sons to leave the house.
On Saturday night, Provash did not inform his in-laws about the fire, the family members said.
Some of Soma’s neighbours said when they saw the flames and went to the house, they found the main door locked from inside. Soma and her sons were in the house. Provash was yet to return home.
“We could not access the house at night since the door was locked from inside. It seems Soma and her sons were asleep,” said Sonali Gayen, one of the neighbours.