Maharashtra crime: Woman set ablaze by partner, left in ditch for 12 hours; accused held

Updated: 15 November, 2020 20:51 IST | IANS | Beed

A police official said that first the accused attempted to strangulate her but she fought back, then he took a bottle of acid and threw the liquid on her as she screamed for help at the dead of the night

Photo for representational purpose
Photo for representational purpose

A 22-year-old victim of acid attack and petrol burning by her boyfriend lay abandoned in a roadside ditch for over 12 hours, and after a 16-hour fight for life, succumbed on Sunday morning, an official said.

Moving swiftly, teams of Maharashtra Police launched a manhunt for the absconding accused and zeroed in on him at his hideout in Nanded district on Sunday evening, Neknur Police Station Investigating Officer Laxman Kendre said.

The incident happened sometime late on Friday night when the duo - Avinash R. Rajure, 25 and Savitra D. Ankulkar, 22, were riding on a motorcycle from Pune to their home in Shelgaon village, Nanded, district, for Diwali celebrations, said Neknur Police Station investigating officer Laxman Kendre.

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"En route on the 450-kms journey, around 2 am on Saturday, the accused Rajure stopped his vehicle at a desolate spot on the Yellamb Ghat region and attacked the victim," Kendre said.

The police official said that first, the accused attempted to strangulate her but she fought back, then he took a bottle of acid and threw the acid on her as she screamed for help at the dead of the night in that remote area.

Not stopping at this, Rajure removed petrol from his vehicle, poured it on her, set her ablaze and pushed her into a deep ditch beside the road as she burnt, before decamping from there.

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"A shepherd tending to his flock heard her whimpering from the ditch around 2 pm (afternoon) on Saturday and immediately informed us. We reached the spot and found her in agony with serious acid and petrol burns, and rushed her to the Beed Civil Hospital. She had sustained 50 per cent burn injuries due to the acid and the petrol fire and breathed her last this (Sunday) morning at the hospital after a 16-hour battle for life," said Kendre.

As per preliminary investigations, the accused and victim stayed together in Pune in a live-in relationship for a few weeks, though the motive behind the murderous attack is not clear, he added.

The Neknur Police Station has registered a case of murder while the Beed Police sounded a high alert for all district border police outposts from Pune to Nanded in an effort to nab the accused Rajure.

"He has been detained by Nanded Police and a team has left from Beed to take him into custody. We shall arrest and produce the accused before a court here on Monday," Kendre said, as her family reached Beed to claim her body.

Nationalist Congress Party leader and Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde from Beed district took a serious note of the incident and discussed the issue with the local police and administration.

"It's a grave matter and I have asked the officers to ensure justice for the victim as early as possible," Munde said.

The BJP's Leader of Opposition Pravin Darekar termed it as a blot on the face of the state while BJP Women's Wing Vice-President Chitra Wagh slammed the government over the incident.

"This is the 8th such incident in recent weeks and reflects poorly on women's safety in the state. We are ashamed that this has happened. What is stopping the state from implementing a Disha-type law in Maharashtra," Wagh demanded.

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First Published: 15 November, 2020 14:04 IST

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