A 17-year-old set his neighbour, also a minor, ablaze on Friday after she refused to marry him. The victim sustained severe burn injuries and died on the way to the hospital. The incident took place at Rajaji Nagar in Ghatkopar (West).
The accused, Rohan Shinde, was allegedly having an affair with the victim, Shalini Loke (both names have changed as the two are minors), and lived close to each other.
Loke used to visit the accused’s house often to attend to his ill mother. Her and Shinde’s family are well acquainted, said the police.
On Thursday, Shinde’s mother had to be rushed to a local hospital after her condition deteriorated. This is when he and Loke were alone in the house, at around 6.30pm.
When Shinde asked her to marry him, she refused saying she was in love with someone else and planned to marry him. This enraged Shinde, who poured kerosene on her and set her ablaze.
To escape suspicion, Shinde went to the girl’s house next door and informed her mother and elder brother that she had committed suicide. Loke was rushed to Rajawadi hospital, where she was declared dead on admission. She had sustained 100% burn injuries, said the police.
The case was reported to the Ghatkopar police, who, during the course of investigations, suspected foul play on Shinde’s part. What alerted them was the fact that Shinde had gone missing following the incident.
“Shinde had also tried to misbehave with the victim, and when she warned him to stay away, he got agitated and poured kerosene on her before setting her on fire,” said a police officer from the Ghatkopar police station.
“We have booked Shinde on charges of murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code,” said Sanjay Shintre, the zonal deputy commissioner of police.