A drunken unemployed youth set his mother on fire in a Mumbai suburb on Saturday after she allegedly refused to give him money to buy alcohol.
The man, Rupesh Jhingare, 25, was arrested and remanded in custody till January 18.
The mother, Nirmala Jhingare, 50, sustained 40% burn injuries and is recuperating at the MT Agarwal Hospital in Mulund. Rupesh's father Tukaram, who is a watchman at a building in Bhandup, was away at the time of the incident.
"Nirmala suffered burns on her hands, legs and neck. She is stable and can talk. She has been receiving antibiotic injections and her wound is being dressed regularly," said a nurse at the MT Agarwal Hospital.The accused often had heated arguments with his parents whenever they refused to give him money. An officer from Bhandup police station, who did not want to be identified, said Rupesh did not appear to be mentally stable and even had some "self-inflicted injury marks". The officer added the family is very poor.
The incident took place in room no. 11 of the Ashmi Gurka chawl. Around 10.30 am, a drunken Rupesh asked his mother for money. She, however, refused saying she did not have any.
Things went out of hand when Rupesh accused Nirmala of hiding money from him and threatened to burn her alive if she did not relent, and Nirmala, in turn, dared him to do so.
Hearing them argue, neighbours intervened and reprimanded Rupesh for talking rudely to his mother. They also called up his father. "This, however, infuriated Rupesh further, and soon after neighbours left he poured kerosene from a stove over Nirmala and set her ablaze," said police. Neighbours rushed back when they saw smoke coming out of the room and took Nirmala to the hospital.
Rupesh was immediately overpowered and handed him over to the police team that reached the spot with Tukaram.
Rupesh has an elder brother and sister, both are married and live in Ratnagiri.