A 40-year-old widow immolated herself outside the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on Monday evening.
Police said Ulhasnagar-resident Renuka Ravindra Mahadik (40) arrived at the BMC building at 5 pm with a cousin.
She doused herself with kerosene and set herself ablaze. “It happened in seconds. She did not say anything before doing it,” said a BMC security guard who witnessed the incident.
Bystanders put out the fire and rushed Mahadik to St George hospital. Mahadik was later shifted to J J hospital. She has suffered 70 per cent burns. “She is critical. We have put her on oxygen support, antibiotics and IV [intravenous] fluids,” said JJ Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr H Jadhav.
“Mahadik’s brother said that her husband, a BMC employee, died a year-and-a-half ago and she was demanding compensatory employment from the BMC,” said Vishwas Nangre Patil, deputy commissioner of police (Zone I). “She was allegedly irked by the delay in the compensation due to her after her husband’s death.”
Her husband, Ravindra, was working as a motor loader in the K/East (Andheri) ward. He died on November 21, 2008.
Mahadik had tried to meet Mayor Shraddha Jadhav on Saturday. The mayor could not meet her but wrote to civic officials asking for all documents pertaining to her case. The Mayor had called Mahadik for a meeting the following Monday.
Mahadik had claimed that she had not even received her husband’s dues like gratuity, pension and providend fund. Jadhav said: “I will look into the matter and will try to give her justice.”