Bhopal:A journalist, his wife and two children were found allegedly murdered in their house last evening here, police said here on Sunday.

Chandrika Rai (42), wife Durga Rai (40), son Jalaj (19) and daughter Nisha (14) were found lying in pool of blood in different rooms of the family's house. Rai worked as a free-lancer for dailies Navbharat and Hitavada, while his wife was a member of local Janpad.

Special task force (STF) has been roped in to probe into the matter of brutal killing of journalist and his family in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Minister in-charge for the district Jai Singh Maravi and Director General of Police S K Rawat inspected the spot.

According to police, the house was locked from outside the whole day on Saturday. Finding something amiss, Rai's brother went to the house and broke the lock to find the horrific scene inside.

Even as police are ascertaining the motive behind the incident they suspect that the murder could have been an insider's job and was committed on the night of February 17.

The victims appeared to have been hit on the head by a heavy iron object.

The incident sent shockwaves among citizens who observed a bandh.

The journalist fraternity protesting against the incident did not allow police to take away the bodies for cremation.

However, the DGP assured the scribes that the culprits will be nabbed soon following which they let the bodies shifted for the last rights.Angry over the incident, people of Umaria are demanding transfer of the District Magistrate (DM) and the Superintendent of Police (SP). It is assumed that the group which kidnapped a boy two days back is responsible for the killing of the scribe and his family.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh to the kin of Rai's family.

Meanwhile, condemning the murder, the opposition leader Ajay Singh said the scribe was actively writing against illegal mining being carried out in the area.

Demanding immediate arrest of perpetrators, Ajay alleged that law and order situation has totally collapsed in the state.

The state president of Working Journalist Union Shalabh Bhadoria also strongly condemned the murder and sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for Rai's kin.