A “jinxed” woman is fighting for life after her husband and in-laws set her ablaze because her “ugly looks” brought them misfortune, the woman’s family claimed on Thursday.
The police have registered a case of harassment and mental torture against Chembur resident Sangeeta Gupta’s husband, Ramesh, and her in-laws after her brother, Durga Gupta, said they thrashed Sangeeta and set her ablaze on Sunday. The 28-year-old sustained 70 per cent burn wounds and is in the intensive care unit of Byculla’s Masina Hospital.
“Sangeeta is not in a position to give a statement,” said Police Sub-Inspector V.N. Jadhav. “If it is proved that they torched her, we will book them for attempt-to-murder and arrest Ramesh and his parents.”
Ramesh was unavailable for comment. His father, Gangaprasad, denied the allegation. “We never tortured her. The couple had a fight and Sangeeta poured kerosene and set herself ablaze before we could stop her.”
Durga said Sangeeta had managed to tell them that Ramesh had set her ablaze. “If Sangeeta would have attempted suicide, her in-laws could have saved her and she wouldn’t have scalded herself so severely,” he said.
Durga said Ramesh (30) had taken to alcohol and often abused Sangeeta after he was forced to sell his auto spare parts store and start a small battery repair business. “Sangeeta never complained, thinking we would ask her to divorce Ramesh,” said Durga.
The two have been married for nine years. Durga said that Ramesh had demanded a dowry of Rs 20,000 for his business, which the family paid.