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Unemployed man sets wife on fire for failing MBBS, wanted to live off her money

The accused, K Rushi Kumar, wanted his 24-year-old wife to become a doctor, so he could live comfortably on the money she earned

telangana Updated: Sep 19, 2017 12:35 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Wife,Murder,MBBS seat
An activist hold a placard during a rally to protest rising instances of violence against women in New Delhi. (AFP photo)

For K Harika, a resident of Kusumanchi village in Telangana’s Khammam district, securing an MBBS seat was a matter of life and death. Quite literally.

The 24-year-old woman was allegedly strangled and set on fire by her husband on Sunday night, after she failed to live up to his academic expectations for the third time in a row. Cyberabad police have arrested the accused – K Rushi Kumar (26) – in connection with the incident, which occurred at Rock Town Colony near Nagole on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

According to LB Nagar assistant police commissioner P Venugopal Rao, Kumar – an unemployed man who claims to hold a B Tech degree – had been staying in the colony with Harika (who happens to be his cousin) for the last two years.

“The relationship between the two was strained from the very start, with Rushi constantly pestering Harika to bring more dowry. The accused also wanted her to become a doctor, so he could live comfortably on the money she earned,” Rao told HT, adding that he even threatened to divorce her unless she succeeded in securing an MBBS seat.

Harika appeared for the medical entrance examination twice, but failed to land an MBBS seat. She finally managed to secure a Bachelor of Dental Surgery seat at the Kamineni Medical College this year, but it wasn’t good enough for Kumar.

According to a resident of the colony, a commotion broke out at the couple’s place around 8 pm on Sunday. “We rushed there to find the half-burnt body of Rushi’s wife. He had apparently set Harika afire after dousing her with kerosene, but – upon realising that smoke had begun billowing out of the house – decided to extinguish the flames with water. As there were no screams, it can only be assumed that he killed her before setting the body alight,” he said.

Rushi was not on cordial terms with his neighbours, and the couple used to maintain a low profile. His sister and brother-in-law also stayed in a nearby apartment.

Rao said Rushi’s parents were also arrested on charges of dowry harassment, after complaints in this regard were lodged by the victim’s family. “We initially filed a case of suspicious death. We are awaiting the post-mortem report. If it turns out to be a murder, we shall book a case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code,” he said.

First Published: Sep 18, 2017 20:24 IST