"Barkat Ali, 45, killed his wife and three daughters by poisoning. He was beaten up badly by locals and later died in a hospital. The bodies have been sent for post- mortem," a police officer said.
The incident took place in Jemuya village near Durgapur in Burdwan district, some 170 km from state capital Kolkata.
Locals alleged he often quarrelled with his wife and beat her up for having given birth to three daughters.
"He would often beat his wife for bearing him three girls and of late had threatened her with dire consequences if he gave birth to a fourth one," said a neighbour.
"We were woken up by the sounds of Ali's coughing and wailing and found that his wife and daughters were lying lifeless on the floor. Ali too had taken some poison but not enough to kill himself," said a neighbour.
Later the villagers gathered and severely thrashed Ali. Badly injured, he was admitted to a nearby hospital where he succumbed, police said.
The incident comes barely two days after a three-month-old girl in Bangalore succumbed to severe injuries inflicted on her by her father who wanted a male child.