Dumka: A 22-year-old woman died in a Ranchi hospital on Friday hours after being set ablaze allegedly by a man whose marriage proposal she had rejected. The woman, Maruti Kumari, a resident of Bhalki village in Dumka district, was rushed to a local facility by family members and then referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in the state capital, a senior police officer said.
Confirming the woman’s death, Dumka Superintendent of Police, Amber Lakra, said that a team of doctors in presence of a magistrate will conduct the autopsy of the victim. “The woman’s statement was recorded before a magistrate before her death which will be her dying declaration. A separate FIR is also there,” Lakra said.
The accused, already married, has been arrested, Shivender Thakur, the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), Jarmundi, said. “A local man, who wanted to marry the victim, had entered her home on Friday morning, poured petrol on her when she was asleep and set her ablaze. “She was rushed to Phulo Jhano Medical College and Hospital by family members, and doctors later referred her to RIMS, ” Thakur said.
The woman and her parents were not ready for this marriage. Both the victim and the accused knew each other since 2019, the SDPO said. As per the woman’s statement, the accused threatened to kill her in the manner in which a 19-year-old woman was set ablaze in Dumka in August this year.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren expressed grief over the tragic incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the victim. “Deeply saddened by the news of the demise of daughter Maruti of Jarmundi, Dumka. The accused is in the custody of the police. May God give peace to the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family to bear the grief. Instructions have been given to provide Rs 10 lakh assistance to the kin of the deceased,” Soren said in a tweet.
On August 23, a woman was set on fire allegedly by a man for spurning his advances. The woman died days later. The accused, identified as Shahrukh, allegedly poured petrol on the woman, a student of Class 12, from outside the window of her room when she was sleeping and set her on fire.
Last month, a 14-year-old tribal girl was found hanging from a tree in Dumka, with her mother claiming that she was raped and killed. The two previous incidents in Dumka are currently being probed by various bodies, including the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), and the National Commission for Women (NCW).