Angry over her refusal to move out of the house, a man allegedly set his wife on fire in Mumbra on Thursday evening in the presence of two policemen.
Kausa resident Tehasin Sheikh, 35, sustained 84 % burns and is battling for her life at Thane Civil Hospital. Her husband Zaheer Sheikh, 37, is currently absconding.
The police have arrested Zaheer's brother, Sameer, 32, and another relative Wasim, 26.
According to the police, Tehasin and her husband were involved in a dispute over a house in Mumbra. She had filed a case in the Thane court after Zaheer and his family threatened and abused her.
Tehasin and Zaheer, a resident of Vartaknagar, got married in 1995 and have four children - two daughters and two sons. In her petition, Tehasin said her husband was a womaniser and had several illicit relationships. There were constant fights and he even physically abused her, she alleged.
Zaheer had bought the Mumbra flat after Tehasin loaned him Rs 2,50,00. However, in 2009, he decided to marry another woman. After the victim objected, Zaheer moved out. But, he and his brothers continued to harass her to leave the house, the police said.
"In October, he and his family were arrested for trying to poison her," said Tehasin's brother Sohail, 36. "They were out on anticipatory bail. We filed a case in court on November 30. After the hearing on December 8, we received a court copy on Thursday, which said that my sister could not be evicted from the house till the next hearing on December 15. We gave a copy to the police station as well."
When Tehasin and her family came home, they found another family inside. Soon after, Zaheer and his relatives appeared on the scene with two policemen.
"My father, uncle, and my aunt's sons came with two policemen," said Tehasin's daughter Ayesha, 13. "While two of them held her hands, one of them poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. All of this happened in front of the police."
The Mumbra police, however, denied the allegations saying that Tehasin set herself ablaze. "The policemen had gone there to help. We have filed an attempt to murder case and arrested two persons," said Vikram Karkud senior inspector, Mumbra police station.