62-year-old killed and set on fire by daughter-in-law

“When the accused saw blood dripping from her mother-in-law’s forehead after she hit her, she decided to make it look like a home invasion murder, and poured mustard oil on her body before trying to set her on fire,” a police officer said.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi | Published: September 28, 2017 4:17 am

A 29-year-old woman has been arrested for allegedly killing her 62-year-old physically disabled mother-in-law. Police said the accused, Kanchan Kapoor, struck the victim, Swarna, with a wooden plank inside her house in east Delhi’s Mandawali.

“When the accused saw blood dripping from her mother-in-law’s forehead after she hit her, she decided to make it look like a home invasion murder, and poured mustard oil on her body before trying to set her on fire,” a police officer familiar with the details of the case said.

However, her attempt to set Swarna on fire did not yield any result since the “blood-drenched body could not catch fire”, an investigator said, adding, “Her mother-in-law was paralysed from the waist-down. Kapoor set her legs on fire thinking that the flames would eventually engulf the entire body. Following that, Kapoor locked herself on the second floor of the five-storey building.”

Police claimed Kapoor has admitted to them that her 10-month-old daughter’s wailing irked Swarna, and that they had been fighting over the issue. The confrontation eventually snowballed into the murder, police claimed.

“The main gate of the building, and the main door of the house, were left ajar. When I peered through the door, I found Swarna’s legs were on fire. I started shouting for help, calling people in the locality,” Jyoti, an eyewitness, told The Indian Express.

Within seconds, at least 15 people gathered at the spot, some with damp clothes, and doused the fire, the eyewitness said, adding, “Kapoor also came out of her house and expressed shock at the incident.”

Swarna’s son, Sumit, who works at a fast-food restaurant, was at on duty at the time of the incident. His relatives from Loni, Ghaziabad and Noida were informed, and they reached the spot by 1.30 am, police said.

Swarna had been living on the ground floor of the house for the past two decades. Her son, his wife and three children live on the second floor, while the rest of the floors have been rented out. “We have recovered the blood-stained clothes, an empty mustard oil jar and a doormat with blood stains, that Kanchan had hid inside her house,” said DCP (east) Omvir Singh.

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