A 22-year-old woman and her family were allegedly set ablaze by her husband and in-laws in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district after she walked out on him alleging harassment, police said on Thursday.
Town inspector (TI) of Kotwali police station Sunil Shrivastava said the incident occurred on Wednesday night at Maniyar village, over 300 km from Bhopal.
The woman Laxmi Rathore, who suffered over 70% burn, was referred to a hospital in Gwalior after her condition deteriorated overnight. The others are being treated at a government hospital in Shivpuri.
The accused, including the woman’s husband Ramlal, allegedly locked the doors of the Rathores’ house from outside, sprinkled petrol on it and set in on fire.
The badly injured victims were rescued by neighbours alerted by cries for help. All the victims suffered over 50% burns, police said.
Besides Laxmi, police identified the other victims as Jagdish, 55, his wife Gita, 52, son Mahesh, 17, and Sarswati,16.
According to police, Jagdish’s daughter Laxmi was married to Ramlal, a resident of village Tentara in Sheopur district about two years ago. For the past few months she has been staying with her parents, allegedly because of harassment meted out to her by her husband and in-laws.
Ramlal’s mother Kamlabai had contacted Laxmi’s parents and asked them to send her back. But when Laxmi’s parents turned down the request, it angered Ramlal and his family.
According to police, the accused Kamlabai, Ramlal, Ramveer, Pappu and Awtar went to Laxmi’s house and poured petrol on the house and set it afire.
Police said the victims allegedly saw the accused flee from the spot in a vehicle.
“The condition of Laxmi is deteriorating and she is being referred to Gwalior. The condition of others are also critical and if required they all would be referred to Gwalior,” the town inspector said.