In a shocking incident, a jilted lover attempted to murder a young college lecturer by dousing her with petrol in full public view in Maharashtra's Wardha, police said here on Monday.
The incident happened this morning in Hinganghat town around 7 am when the victim stepped out of a bus at Nanderi Chowk, to proceed to her teaching job in a private college, around 100 metres away, said Investigating Officer Pratibha Dudhbale.
"We have managed to trace the accused, Vicky Nagrare, 27, soon after the incident. He is currently detained and police are questioning him. He and the victim belong to the same village, Daroda. The 25-year old victim was working as a part-time lecturer with Matoshri Ashatai Kunawar College nearby," Wardha Superintendent of Police Basavaraj Teli told IANS.
According to Wardha Police, the woman is stated to be 'critical' after she sustained more than 40 per cent burns, her face has been totally scarred, besides her chest and back, while medicos fear she may lose her vision if she survives.
Victim shifted to another hospital
After initial treatment at the local Hinganghat Hospital, she was shifted to the specialised Orange City Hospital in Nagpur this afternoon.
An investigator said that since the past three-four months, the accused had been stalking and pursuing the victim, but she repeatedly spurned his overtures.
"They used to travel in the same bus and three months ago, she had a bitter altercation with him on the bus journey after which she informed her family. They advised her to handle the matter tactfully," the investigating official said.
This morning, the accused reportedly followed her on a bike and after she alighted, took petrol from his vehicle, poured it on her head and set her ablaze before fleeing from there.
Shocked passersby and locals immediately rushed to the victim's aid, attempted to douse the flames and rushed her to the local hospital.
Condemning the incident, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said he has directed the SP to probe the matter and ensure stringent punishment to the accused.
Bharatiya Janata Party's Wardha MP Ramdas Tadas said the matter is very serious and raises questions of women's safety.
The Maharashtra DGP's office has sought a detailed report on the incident which has sent shockwaves in Wardha and colleges campuses across the state.