Mumbai: Mentally-ill woman sets bed on fire, dies

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The 45-year-old had been undergoing treatment at the Thane Mental Hospital for years; she sustained 95 per cent burns and succumbed to her injuries

A 45-year-old woman, who suffered from schizophrenia, died after allegedly setting her bed at her home in Mulund East on fire early on Wednesday.

The charred mattress of Lalita Krishna Bombe, who allegedly set it on fire on Wednesday. Pic/Rajesh Gupta
The charred mattress of Lalita Krishna Bombe, who allegedly set it on fire on Wednesday. Pic/Rajesh Gupta

Police said Lalita Krishna Bombe, who lived with her two sisters at Ganeshdham Society in Nirmal Nagar phase 2, Mulund East, had been undergoing treatment for schizophrenia at the Thane Mental Hospital for years.

Around 4.30 am on Wednesday, her sisters — Sunita Pawar and Shakuntala Bombe — who were in the living room, noticed smoke coming out of Lalita’s bedroom. On opening the door to her room, they found Lalita engulfed in flames and writhing in pain.

“The two tried to douse the fire and in an attempt to save Lalita, Shakuntala sustained burn injuries on her hands,” said a sub-inspector of the Navghar police station.

The fire brigade was immediately called. After the blaze was doused, Lalita was rushed to Agarwal Hospital with 95% burns and later shifted to Sion Hospital.

She succumbed during treatment in the evening, the police officer said.

A police officer said that there is no clarity on how the fire started, but going by the lay of the bedroom, it looked like Lalita set her bed on fire with a match and was trapped in the flames. Police have recovered a match box from the spot.

“We have registered an accidental death report. At this stage, no foul play is suspected,” said Madhav More, senior Navghar police inspector.

Sunita, a retired banker, had moved in with her sisters a few years ago after her husband’s death. Shakuntala is unmarried.

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves.

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