The Dindoshi Sessions Court sentenced a 44-year-old man to life imprisonment for killing his wife by setting her on fire in 2011. The accused Rakesh Singh had poured kerosene on his wife Seema, and set her ablaze in front of their three kids when she refused to give him money for alcohol.

Mumbai crime: Man gets lifer for setting wife ablaze in front of kids
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Rakesh, a rickshaw driver, used to live with his wife in Dahisar (East) with their children, aged 12, 10 and 8 years. Seema used to work as a domestic help and do stitching work to make ends meet. According to the prosecutor, Rakesh was an alcoholic and would spend all his earnings on his addiction.

On December 19, 2011, Rakesh came home from work at around 9 pm. He asked Seema, who was cooking at the time, for some money to buy alcohol. Seema refused, and told him to look after the house rather than drinking all the time. Furious, Rakesh started hitting his wife. He then doused her with kerosene and set her on fire.

Police Inspector Anil Pawar and Assistant Police Inspector Shankar Khatke, who investigated the case when they were attached with Dahisar police station, said, “Rakesh set his wife on fire in front of their kids. Rakesh was a heavy drinker and used to demand money and fight with his wife on a daily basis.

When the neighbours heard the commotion, they rushed and tried to save Seema. They rushed her to Bhagwati hospital but she died two days later. Rakesh is also a history sheeter and has cases of theft registered against him.” Public Prosecutor Madhuri Mahajan said, “The elder daughter told the court about the horrific incident that she had witnessed.

She said that before asking for money from her mother, her father checked the mandir of the house, where she usually kept the money. When he could not find anything there, he started demanding money from Seema.” After setting his wife on fire, Rakesh ran away from the house and was arrested three days later from Borivli. The three kids are now staying with their mother’s sister.

Special women’s court judge S K S Razvi sentenced Rakesh for life under sections 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, along with a fine of Rs 10,000.