A 25-year-old man was handed life sentence by the Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court on Tuesday for setting his wife on fire and killing her following an argument in 2014. The court had relied on the dying declaration of the deceased, Naina Qureshi (19), and an eyewitness who saw the convict, Saddam Qureshi, running away from his home.
According to police, the couple, who lived in Ghatkopar’s Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, had been newly married but fought often. On the night of April 1, 2014, they had an argument. Qureshi was under the influence of alcohol.
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“Angry, he doused his wife with kerosene, set her on fire and fled. We caught Qureshi a few days later,” said Inspector Rajesh Kevale of Pant Nagar police station. Naina, police said, had sustained over 65 per cent burns and passed away on June 1. In her video-recorded dying declaration, Naina said her husband had set fire to her.
The prosecution also examined a neighbour in Ghatkopar, who had spotted Qureshi fleeing from his home as Naina cried for help. “The dying declaration, the testimony of the witnesses present when the declaration was made and the eyewitness proved vital for us,” said Kevale.
On Tuesday, sessions judge SKS Razvi convicted Qureshi for murder, attempted murder and voluntarily causing hurt.