Chit fund owner, who owed Rs.3 lakh to a couple from Idukki, allegedly set them on fire when they demanded their money back on Saturday at Ambalappuzha in Alappuzha. The couple, in their 50's, died in hospital late in the night.

KK Venu, 54, and his wife Suma, 50, from Idukki died after being set on fire, allegedly by the proprietor of a Chit Fund Company at Ambalappuzha in Alappuzha district on Saturday night. According to the police, Chit fund owner doused the couple in petrol and set them ablaze when they demanded their money back. The gruesome incident took place in front of the house of the chit fund owner. The police have taken Suresh Bhaktavatchalam, the proprietor of the company into custody in connection with the incident.

When the police arrived at the spot after receiving information about an altercation in the house of Suresh, they saw the couple on fire and immediately extinguished the fire. Even though the police rushed the man and woman to hospital, their life could not be saved. They had sustained serious burn injuries and died within hours after the incident.

In his dying declaration to the police, Venu said that the chit fund owner got agitated when he demanded Rs. 3 lakh he owed him. Suresh poured petrol and set them on fire, he added.

Suresh, however, denied the allegation and told police that he was not at home when the incident occurred. 

The chit fund company, which was started in 2013, ran into loss after a while and several cases of cheating are pending against it. A friend of the deceased couple told Asianet News that the chit fund owner had threatened Venu in the past.