Mumbai Crime: Man sets wife ablaze for being 'barren'

The couple had remained childless even after seven years of marriage, making the accused wanting to remarry for a child

A 35-year-old man was arrested on Saturday night for allegedly setting his wife on fire, after a spat. The 26-year-old woman, now admitted in Thane Civil Hospital, has suffered 77 per cent burns on her face, back, legs, stomach and neck. According to doctors, her chances of survival are slim.

Shobha’s family outside the Burns ward
Shobha’s family outside the Burns ward

The victim identified as Shobha Gawale in her statement has said that her husband Vijay set her on fire because she was not able to bear him a child after seven years of marriage. Her family members though have alleged that it was Vijay who was infertile.

Vijay Gawale and Shobha Gawale
Vijay Gawale and Shobha Gawale

“Her husband and the in-laws used to curse her by calling her a barren woman, as she couldn’t conceive. Every day, Vijay used to come home drunk and beat her up,” said Dhyneshwar Gaikwad, 36, her brother, who was to get married on May 26, along with his younger brother.

Vijay, after a major fight with his wife on Friday, drenched her in kerosene and set her on fire and fled with all the gold jewellery and Rs 5,000 cash. He was caught on Saturday and section 307 (attempt to murder) has been levied against him.

Police says
Assistant inspector of Narpoli police station, Arun Kshir Sagar said, “He was roaming nearby when we caught him. He has refused all the allegations and said that she has set herself on fire.” Shobha’s younger brother Kailash said, “My sister was excited to attend our wedding but I don’t think that she would be alive till then.”

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