For Nila (name changed), death was far gentler than a life with a mistrustful, heartless husband. Frustrated with his repeated taunts following her alleged rape, the 45-year-old woman set herself ablaze last week. She died this Monday.
The Virar police registered a case against the husband, Kamlendra Solanki (50), and the suspected rapist based on her dying declaration. Solanki was arrested on June 21.
The police said Nila and her husband, residents of Virar West, visited Mehsana, Gujarat, with some relatives in 2012. When Nila was alone at home one day, Ramesh Dharbar, a resident of the locality the family stayed in, gained entry into the house, allegedly raped her and silenced her with murder threats. But Solanki allegedly walked into the house, spotted the two together and raised questions over her fidelity. A few days later, Dharbar again allegedly raped Nila.
After the couple returned to Mumbai, they had vicious arguments over the alleged sexual assault. Solanki refused to believe that she had been raped and, instead, repeatedly taunted her.
“On June 14, the couple again picked up a fight over this. The husband alleged that she had been unfaithful to him and hit her. He then walked out of the home,” said Ranjeet Shirshat, police sub-inspector (PRO) of Palghar district.
Seeing no way out of her suffering, Nila set herself on fire. She was rushed to a hospital with 90% burns.
“At the hospital, the executive magistrate took the woman’s statement, where she revealed the ordeal and the trauma she had faced at the hands of her husband and the rapist,” said Shirshat.
Based on her dying declaration, the police registered case against Solanki and Dharbar under sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), 498 (enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC.
Nila succumbed to the injuries on June 20, and the next day, Solanki was arrested. A police team has been sent to Gujarat to arrest Dharbar.
“Investigations are on into how the accused tortured the woman and forced her to commit suicide,” said Shirshat.