A youth in Kerala set a girl on fire inside a classroom in Kottayam Wednesday allegedly after she thwarted his advances. The boy also sustained burn injuries reportedly after he caught fire during a scuffle with the girl. Both victims succumbed to their injuries. Police identified the victims as K Lakshmi, 21, a physiotherapy student at School of Medical Education, Kottayam, and S Adarsh, 25, a former student of the same institute. The institute is run by MG University, Kottayam.
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According to police, Adarsh entered the lecture hall of the physiotherapy department around noon when Lakshmi was with her classmates. He told her that he wanted to talk to her in private, but when Lakshmi rejected the demand, Adarsh left in a huff.
Minutes later, Adarsh allegedly returned with a can of petrol and went to the classroom. He reportedly poured petrol over her and also himself. As he tried setting the girl on fire using a lighter, Lakshmi rushed out of the room. She tried hiding in a nearby library hall, where Adarsh chased her down and set her ablaze. He also caught fire in his bid to set the girl ablaze. Engulfed in flames, both ran within the library hall screaming for help. They later collapsed outside the library, where college teachers doused the fire and rushed them to the hospital.
Police said both had sustained about 70 per cent burns. According to police, after the incident, Lakshmi in her statement to the magistrate said that she had filed a complaint against Adarsh for stalking.