A 48-year-old woman was set ablaze in the veranda of her house by four women and the bodyguard of a Ghatkopar corporator early on Thursday morning over a personal quarrel, claims her family. The victim’s kin allege that the Ghatkopar police who are investigating the case have registered a case against only two of the five accused, sparing the others.
Victim: Sitabai Alkunde, 48, was set ablaze in the veranda of her house by four women and a bodyguard of a Ghatkopar corporator on Thursday morning
The motive for the crime has not been clearly established by the cops, who say an old rivalry between the victim’s family and the accused led to the incident.
According to police officials, the two accused have been identified as Moni Kale and Suman Kale. But the family of Sitabai Alkunde, the victim, says two more women Kalpana and Ranji, and the corporator’s bodyguard Mahesh Kale were also involved in the crime. The three, not named in the FIR, are at present absconding. They have been missing from their residence since the crime.
It has been learnt that Kalpana was envious of one of the victim’s daughters as her boyfriend would visit her at their family’s shop and talk to her.
Speaking to MiD DAY, the victim’s daughter Jyoti Alkunde said, “My sister Soni missed a call on her phone a few days ago. When she called back on the number, Kalpana answered and began abusing my sister over the phone. She had come to our shop with someone on Wednesday and threatened my sister and mother that she would burn them alive in the middle of the road.”
Jyoti continued, “Around 6.30 am on Thursday morning, when we were all asleep, my mom was sitting in the veranda after having a bath. Suddenly these four women arrived along with Kale, poured kerosene on her body and set her on fire.”
Asked why Kalpana abused Soni, Jyoti said, “Kalpana’s friend Honil Shah used to come to our shop and engage in long conversations with my sister Soni. We treated him like a customer and nothing else. But Kalpana held a grudge against us for that.”
Senior Inspector Ram Mandurke of Ghatkopar police station said, “Seventy per cent of the victim’s body has been burnt. We have booked two accused in the case. The actual reason why the accused perpetrated such a crime is still unknown but as per prima facie reports it’s the old rivalry which forced the accused to attack Alkunde.” The accused have been booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.