PATNA A minor girl died and her elder sister received critical burn injuries, when they were set on fire by a man whose desire to wed the elder girl, was rebuffed by their parents. The incident took place in West Champaran district of north Bihar, about 180 km north of the state capital, on Wednesday.
Confirming the incident, West Champaran SP Vinay Kumar told HT that the incident took place when the two sisters, including Deep Mala, 15, were fast asleep in their house at Pokharbhira village under Muffasil police station of West Champaran.
Kumar said the accused, Navneel Niraj, who gave karate lessons to the sisters, poured petrol and set their room on fire. While Deep Mala died of burn injuries,her elder sister had been admitted in a private nursing home at Motihari, in adjacent East Champaran district.
Police said the accused sprinkled petrol through ventilator and set the room alight. The fire soon engulfed the thatched roof of the house, leaving the two sisters inside with severe burn injuries, to which Deep Mala succumbed.
The accused, a resident of Ghorahia under Sri Nagar police station, was infatuated with elder sister and wanted to marry her but, a few days before the incident, the parents of the two girls had flatly rejected his marriage proposal, angering him.
Earlier, on February 27, the karate teacher, along with five miscreants on Bolero vehicle, had abducted Deep Mala’s elder sister when she, along with her mother, was on way to the Meena Bazar locality in Bettiah, on her way back from college.
The incident took place near New Colony and they were taken to the Sukh Sagar guest house at Lalbazar, with an intention to force a wedding upon the girl. Somehow, the victim and her mother managed to escape from the spot, despite manhandling by the abductors.
Later, an FIR was lodged at the Mufassil police station of Bettiah on February 28 but till date no one was arrested in connection with the abduction. Family members said that the wedding of the elder girl was fixed elsewhere recently fixed, which further infuriated the accused who threatened to kill the girl.
This information was passed on to investigating officer of the case Anil Kumar Singh but to no avail. “If the accused had been arrested soon after we lodged a case against him, my granddaughter’s life would have been saved,” Laxman Thakur, the girl’s ’ grandfather, said.
The suspect has been absconding after the incident and the police have launched a manhunt to arrest him.. “We expect to arrest him soon. We are also trying to record the statement of the surviving fire victim and her mother to speed up the investigation,” ” said Vinay. Kumar, the SP.