A 22-year-old woman died in a Ranchi hospital on Friday hours after being set ablaze allegedly by a man whose marriage proposal she had rejected, police said.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren expressed grief over the tragic incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the victim.
The woman, Maruti Kumari, a resident of Bhalki village in Dumka district, was rushed to a local facility by family members. She was then referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in the state capital, a senior police officer said.
Confirming the woman’s death, Dumka Superintendent of Police, Amber Lakra, told PTI that a team of doctors in presence of a magistrate will conduct the autopsy of the victim.
“The woman’s statement was recorded before a magistrate before her death which will be her dying declaration. A separate FIR is also there,” Lakra said.
The accused, already married, has been arrested, Shivender Thakur, sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), Jarmundi, told PTI.
“A local man, who wanted to marry the victim, had entered her home on Friday morning, poured petrol on her and set her ablaze.
“She was rushed to Phulo Jhano Medical College and Hospital by family members, and doctors later referred her to RIMS, ” Thakur said.
The woman and her parents were not ready for this marriage. Both the victim and the accused knew each other since 2019, the SDPO said.
As per the woman’s statement, the accused threatened her to kill her in the manner in which Ankita Kumari, a Class 12 student, was set ablaze in Dumka in August this year.
“Deeply saddened by the news of demise of daughter Maruti of Jarmundi, Dumka. The accused is in the custody of the police. May God give peace to the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family to bear the grief. Instructions have been given to provide Rs 10 lakh assistance to the kin of the deceased,” Soren said in a tweet.
State Agriculture Minister, Badal Patralekh who was camping at Bhalki village told PTI, “This is a shocking incident…We tried our best to save our daughter but could not save her. We will ensure that strictest possible punishment is given to the perpetrator of the crime for the heinous act. We will ensure fast-tracking of the case.” The victim’s maternal grandfather Kishan Raut, 65, said the accused knocked at the door around 1 am and on opening the gate he poured petrol on the woman and set her ablaze.
Another relative, Kajal Devi, said after being set on fire, the victim rushed towards her maternal grandmother and she too received burn injuries and is currently undergoing treatment.
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) national vice president and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das in a tweet said: “Such incidents will recur if there is no fear of law among criminals. The courage of the criminals has increased in the Hemant Soren government….Take stern action against criminals or else such incidents will increase.” Former, Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi in a tweet said: “Like Ankita of Dumka, Jarmundi’s victim Maruti Kumari also has lost the battle of life. Don’t know how many daughters in this state will pay the price of collapsing law and order by losing their lives.” On August 23, Ankita Kumari was set on fire allegedly by a man for spurning his advances in Dumka. She died days later.
The accused, identified as Shahrukh, allegedly poured petrol on the Class 12 student from outside the window of her room when she was sleeping and set her on fire.
Last month, a 14-year-old tribal girl was found hanging from a tree in Dumka, with her mother claiming that she was raped and killed.
The two previous incidents in Dumka are currently being probed by various bodies, including National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), and the National Commission for Women.
(This story is published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)