All five members of a family, including three children, all below 10 years of age, were killed in a Uttar Pradesh village with the murderers slitting open their throats in their sleep, police said on Sunday.
The gruesome murders, in which a girl child too was killed, were carried out in Khanpur village under the Inayatnagar police station of the district on Saturday night over a property dispute, Ayodhya's Senior Superintendent of Police Shailesh Pandey said.
The SSP identified the victim family as that of Horilal, a resident of Khanpur village.
A total of four people were involved in the killings, the SSP added.
The police, however, managed to arrest all four of them within 15 hours of the killings, he added.
While the three accused were arrested within three to four hours of the murder, the key accused, Pawan, was arrested on Sunday following an exchange of fire with him in which a constable too was injured, the SSP said.
Pawan was arrested after a shootout from a forest area of Kuchera, nearly five km from the murder spot, a police team reached his hideout and challenged him to surrender, the SSP said.
But the accused opened fire at the police team, injuring a police constable, the SSP said.
This forced police to open retaliatory firing.