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Rajkot self-immolations: Death toll up at 4,3 held

HOURS after Bharat Dalvani,his wife Asha and younger brother Girish were cremated,Rekha,wife of Bharat’s youngest brother Mahendra,succumbed to her burns Saturday morning,taking the death toll in the mass self-immolation bid by the Nepalese family to four.

Written by Express News Service | Rajkot | Published: April 7, 2013 4:11:34 am

HOURS after Bharat Dalvani,his wife Asha and younger brother Girish were cremated,Rekha,wife of Bharat’s youngest brother Mahendra,succumbed to her burns Saturday morning,taking the death toll in the mass self-immolation bid by the Nepalese family to four.

The police,meanwhile,arrested three people who were alleged to have harassed the family.

Rekha (30),mother of two,had set herself on fire along with four other members of her family on the premises of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) office on Wednesday. She had suffered more than 95 per cent burns and had been battling for her life in the civil hospital for the last three days.

Girish (35),Bharat (45) and Asha (40) had died Wednesday.

Hasumati (60),the matriarch of the family,is still in the hospital in a critical condition.

Rekha’s death came hours after Mahendra and Gauri,Girish’s wife,claimed bodies of Bharat,Asha and Girish late Friday night after refusing to do so for more than two days demanding arrest of “accused”. Later,the victims were cremated at Ramnathpara crematorium in on the bank of River Aji.

Meanwhile,police arrested Haresh Dhobi,Dushyant Tank and Rajesh Dholakia,all residents of Chhotunagar Cooperative Housing Society on Raiya Road,in connection with the case late on Friday. In her complaint,Guari had alleged harassment by them,which forced them to commit suicide. The family feared demolition of their dwelling in common plot of Chhotunagar,which RMC had termed “unauthorised construction.”

The family had sought a stay on the demolition notices of issued by RMC,but a court had refused them any relief ruling they had no right over the place. The family had claimed it had been living there for the last 36 years.

In another development,Kshatriya community took out a rally in support of BJP councillors Rajbha Jhala and Kamlesh Miranni and submitted a memorandum to city police commissioner.

In his dying declaration,Girish had alleged harassment by the two councillors.

RMC has given Rs 25 lakh to kin of the family as ex-gratia. Congress too has given the family Rs 3 lakh.

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