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NRI couple charred to death

A young couple of Indian origin was burned to death after a man set fire to their shop in Eshow town in KwaZulu-Natal province.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 10:49 IST

A young couple of Indian origin was burned to death after a man set fire to their shop in Eshow town in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Fiaz Motala, 22, and his wife Tahira, 21, died of serious burns as they were trapped behind heavily-barred counter of their cell phone shop when the man came to the outlet, poured a liquid and set it on fire, eyewitnesses said.

The accused has been arrested and has been charged with two counts of murder and one of arson, police said adding that further investigations were on.

KwaZulu-Natal province has been the focal point of a spate of violent robberies, mostly targeting ethnic Indians.

Community members have expressed their shock and anger and have called for immediate action by the authorities.

Tony Subramoney, a businessman said he knew the couple since they had set up shop recently.

"They had to lock themselves behind bars because of the robberies they had experienced. The situation is getting out of hand and we need action," he said.

The murder of the young couple is the latest in a series of incidents where people of Indian origin have been targeted in and around the city of Durban, which has the largest concentration of Indians outside India.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 15:18 IST