A 20-year-old resident of Bhiwandi was rushed to Sion Hospital on Thursday night after sustaining 85 per cent burn injuries. The victim, in her statement to the police, confirmed that she was set on fire by her mother-in-law and husband following a seven-month-long ordeal over dowry demands.
She was admitted to the hospital by the sarpanch of Padgha village in Bhiwandi. Padgha police, on the basis of her statement, have arrested her husband Yogesh Bhandari, and mother-in-law Radhika Bhandari, under Sections 498-A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
An officer from Sion police station said the woman was married into the family in the month of February. Appar-ently, even after paying a substantial amount to her in-laws at the time of marriage, the accused kept harassing the woman for seven months for more money. “She said that on multiple occasions, she was sent home to get money or other things. And was allowed to enter her in-law’s house only after fulfilling their demands,” said one of the officers, who recorded the victim’s statement. On Thursday evening, when the domestic feud flared, the accused allegedly poured petrol on the victim and set her ablaze.
After hearing the commotion, the villagers intervened. But the family told them that it was an accident. The girl was rushed to a local hospital. The doctors pronounced the victim critical, due to the extent of burn injuries, and asked the villagers and her in-laws to immediately shift her to Sion Hospital. Village sarpanch, Jaivant Gorle and Radhika accompanied the victim to Sion Hospital around 10.30 pm on Thursday. Despite repeated attempts, Gorle remained unavailable for comments.
Doctors from the Sion Hospital confirmed that while the woman is being kept on IV fluid and oral medication, her condition is critical. “She is critical due to the extent of her burn injuries and we are following the procedures for burn injury treatment. Apart from the face, she has sustained injuries all over the body. We are trying our best to stabilise the patient,” said a treating doctor.
Meanwhile, officials from Padgha police station, under whose jurisdiction the crime took place, filed an FIR after receiving details from the Sion police. PSI Shamrao Kale, from Padgha police station said both the accused were arrested from their residence and were produced in a local court. “They were booked on the basis of the statement given by the victim at the Sion Hospital and are currently in our custody. The woman was being harassed for a long time and was set on fire by them on Thursday evening. We are now probing the case further to find out the dowry amount and other details,” said Kale.