The investigation into the death of a 19-year-old pregnant woman, who sustained severe burn injuries, has revealed that she was set on fire by her husband, the Ahmednagar Police said on Friday.
The victim, Rukmini Ransing, sustained 70 per cent burns and died at the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune on Sunday. Her husband, Mangesh Ransing, sustained 50 per cent burn injuries in the incident and is currently undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Police had earlier arrested Rukmini’s father Rama Bhartiy on Tuesday and uncles Surendra Bhartiya and Ghansham Saroj earlier for allegedly setting her on fire as they were opposed to her inter-caste marriage to Mangesh. They will be released after completion of legal procedure, said police.
The initial first information report (FIR) in the case was registered on the basis of a statement given by Rukmini before she died, as well as a statement given by her husband Mangesh.
“Based on circumstantial evidence and statements of witnesses who had accompanied the couple on their way to hospital after the incident, we have come to the conclusion that the girl was set on fire by her husband. Those arrested in this case earlier will be released after completion of legal procedure. Further investigation is on,” said Deputy Superintendent of Ahmednagar Police Manish Kalwania.
Police are trying to ascertain why Rukmini had named her family members in her dying declaration.
Mangesh is from Lohar community, while Rukmini belongs to Pasi community. Both of them hail from Nighoj village in Ahmednagar and they got married a few months ago.
Police suspect that Mangesh poured fuel on Rukmini and set her on fire in the kitchen of their house, but was himself injured in the incident.
According to the earlier FIR lodged in the case, Rukmini had gone to her maternal home on April 30 following a dispute with Mangesh. In his statement, Mangesh told police that Rukmini called him up and asked him to take her back home. He said when he went to his in-laws’ residence, her family members refused to let her go and, after a heated argument, two of Rukmini’s uncles allegedly set the couple on fire after pouring petrol on them, in the presence of her father, who locked the room. Their screams were heard by some neighbours, who took them to a government hospital in Ahmednagar, Mangesh had told police.
Despite repeated attempts, Mangesh’s brother Vikrant and Mahesh could not be reached for comment. They had earlier told mediapersons that Rukmini’s family was against the intercaste marriage.