Karkala: Ganapati Bhat (48) had been serving as the archak at the Anantapadmanabha temple in Anantashayana.
A new temple administrative committee took over recently and a new archak, Rajesh Bhat, was given preference. The row was simmering over the past few days.
Ganapati Bhat, who reportedly had financial problems, was distressed over this development during the past days. On Friday, he took the extreme step of jumping into a well with his wife Shyamala (42) and daughter Rashmi (18).
Two different versions are making rounds. Some say that it was a suicide pact. But the police have concluded that they may have jumped out of despair of seeing him die or to rescue him.
A newspaper vendor had seen them standing near the well and screaming loudly and informed the fire brigade. When the firemen arrived, Ganapati Bhat had already drowned while Shyamala and Rashmi were holding on to a support down in the well, desperately crying for help.
The two were rescued. Ganapati Bhat had already breathed his last. A case has been registered in the town police station.