Set on fire by wife’s relatives, 23-year-old man battles for life with 50% burns
A 23-year-old man, who along his wife was set on fire by the latter’s relatives condemning their inter-caste marriage, is battling for life at Pune’s Sassoon General Hospital, doctors said.
While Mangesh Ransingh suffered 50% burns, his wife Rukmini (19), succumbed to her injuries and was cremated in Pune on Wednesday. The couple got married six months ago.
On May 1, Rukmini’s father and uncles, who had opposed their marriage, poured kerosene on the couple and set them on fire at Nighoj village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district.
According to police, the incident took place at the father’s residence. Mangesh came to take Rukmini home. She had come to her father’s place after a minor altercation took place between the couple.
“A heated argument broke out between him and the relatives after which the accused poured kerosene over Mangesh and Rukmini and set them on fire. Both maternal and paternal relatives of Rukmini were dead against the marriage as it was outside their caste,” a police official said.
Some neighbours had heard the cries of the couple and doused the flames, after which they were rushed to a hospital.
Ransingh’s injuries are of critical nature, one of the doctors at the hospital said.
The hospital staff said that he had suffered burns on several parts of his body, including chest and the face. The injuries on the chest are critical because they may directly affect the heart and could increase the chances of infection, according to the doctors.
Mangesh’s sister Priya who was attending on him said he had not been informed of his wife’s death to avoid further trauma. “We are hoping that he lives,” she said.
“We are Maharashtrians and we are shocked with such hatred and casteism. We are still in a shock,” she said.
Mangesh, a daily wage worker, belonged to Lohar caste and his wife Rukmini, who worked as a domestic help, was from Pasi caste, assistant police inspector Vijay Kumar Botre, the investigation officer in the case, said.
Rukmini named her father and two uncles in her dying declaration, said police.
On Tuesday, the police detained the woman’s father, Rama Bhartiya from Uttar Pradesh, and brought him to Parner for questioning.
Rukmini’s uncles Surendra Bhartiya and Ghanshyam Saroj have already been arrested in connection with the case under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempted murder), the police said.