Chennai woman dies after stalker sets her, kin on fire
CHENNAI: A woman in Chennai died of burns after she, her mother and her sister were allegedly set on fire by a man who police said was stalking her.
The suspect, Akash, who police said had been pursuing Induja against her wishes for nearly a year, escaped after the attack on Monday night.
He was arrested on Tuesday by the Kodambakkam police.
The incident took place at 9pm on Monday when 23-year-old Akash went to Induja’s house in south Chennai’s Velachery. He had taken along a yellow plastic canister, police said, and first threatened to commit suicide by setting himself ablaze.
When the three women came out, he reportedly threw petrol on them and ignited it with a cigarette lighter, a police inspector investigating the case told HT.
Hearing the women’s screams, the neighbours called police and an ambulance. Induja died before she could be taken to a hospital.
Induja’s uncle said, “Akash had been stalking my niece for a month. Knowing that my brother works abroad, the accused came to Induja’s residence. Initially, they did not open the door but Akash insisted that he would only talk to Induja. When they opened the door, he poured petrol on Induja, set them on fire and fled the spot.”
Investigating office, inspector S Murali, told HT that the motive of the crime was “very clear”.
“He was pursing the girl even though she rejected him,” he said.
Murali said Akash was unemployed and the woman was doing a specialised course after completing her engineering.
A neighbour, S Ramkumar, said the ambulance arrived too late, at least 40 minutes after a call was made. The trio was rushed to the Kilpauk Medical College hospital. The mother, Renuka, has 49% burns and the sister, Niveda, 23% burns, the dean of the hospital said.
Dr D Vasantha, attending to the two, said, “Both are critical as they suffered petrol burns and inhaled a lot of fumes. Their lungs are also injured.”
Induja’s father, software engineer D Shanmugam, 48, works in Canada and is rushing back to Chennai.
She also has a younger brother, 15-year-old S Manoj, who was asleep when the incident occurred.
Akash, the accused