Accused Sai Karthik in police custody
Accused Sai Karthik in police custody

Hyderabad: A 25-year-old Sandhya Rani, who was set ablaze on Thursday evening in full public view by her former colleague for refusing his marriage proposal, succumbed to burns this morning, police said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Zone) B Sumathi said the accused, Sai Karthik, 28, , a school dropout, poured petrol on the woman who was returning home from office and set her afire in Secunderabad's Lalaguda area. 

He was arrested on Friday and booked for murder, Sumathi said at a press conference. The woman, who belonged to a scheduled caste, worked as an accountant in an aluminium fabrication unit where Karthik also worked for one year before being sacked by the management as his conduct was "not good", she said.  "Karthik studied only up to class 7. He and the woman knew each other.

When he proposed to marry her, she refused, the DCP said. "Last night, he followed the woman on his motorcycle when she was on her way home after office. He got into an argument with her as to why she refused to marry him," the official said. "During the argument, he poured petrol on her and set her on fire," she said.

Hearing her cries, some passers-by rushed to her aid and put out the fire. The woman suffered 64 per cent burns and was immediately shifted to Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad, Sumathi said. "She died around 7.30 am while undergoing treatment. We registered a murder case and will produce the accused in court," the official said. The victim, in her dying declaration, said she was being pressured by the accused to marry him, she added.

Tags: Lalaguda