Woman set on fire by stalker in full public view, dies

Police who nabbed the accused say it was a pre-planned murder

Published: 23rd December 2017 02:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2017 07:52 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Twenty-two-year-old N Sandhya Rani, who was set afire on Thursday by her alleged stalker, died on Friday morning.  Police, who nabbed the accused Thursday night, said that it was a pre-planned murder. The accused, 28-year-old Sai Kartheek, has been charged with murder, assault on woman with intent to outrage her modesty, and under sections of SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act.

The DCP (north zone) B Sumathi said that the accused had been harassing the victim for the past few months, asking her to marry him. The two knew each other as they worked in the same office till he was expelled. Sandhya Rani used to work as a computer operator at Lucky Traders at Shanthi Nagar.
On Thursday, Sandhya Rani was on her way back to home after work when Kartheek intercepted her. He picked up an argument with her after she refused to accept his proposal of marriage. In the CCTV footage, Kartheek, who was carrying a bottle of petrol, poured it on her and set her ablaze near Vidyamandir school in Lalapet. She sustained severe burn injuries and was shifted to Gandhi Hospital.

“The accused discussed something with the victim for a few minutes. He again proposed marriage. As she asked him not to call her again, the accused poured petrol on her, set her ablaze and fled from the scene,” said the DCP.Based on a complaint lodged by victim’s mother Savitri, a case was registered. “We collected all possible evidence including CCTV footages from different places.  It was found that the accused procured petrol from a filling station in Malkajgiri. Special teams were formed and nabbed the accused hours after the incident took place,’’ Sumathi said.

“The accused confessed to having committed the offence after the victim turned down his marriage proposal and warned him. The victim had brought the issue to the notice of office manager who asked Kartheek to mend his ways. Sandhya Rani too had threatened that she would bring the issue to the notice of police. Angry over these threats, the accused committed the offence,’’ the DCP said.

The police collected evidence including dying declaration from the victim and will file charge sheet soon. The police registered cases under section 302 (murder), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 (D) (stalking), Sec 3 (2) of SC/ST (POA) Amendment Act, 2015 against the accused.

Past cases
December 1, 2017: A 31-year-old married woman died after suffering burns when three persons threw acid on her face in Warangal. The three accused were nabbed by police.
July 18, 2017: A 22 year-old woman suffered serious burn injuries after she was attacked with acid in Petbasheerabad police limits. The accused Pradeep is her co-worker.
November 18, 2016: A 23-year-old woman was hospitalised with minor burns after a person threw acid on her face in Jeedimetla. Later, the accused was arrested by police

Accused
The accused Vanga Kartheek, resident of Indira Nagar, Lalapet. He used to visit the Kaman locality of Lalaguda where the victim was staying. Even though there are no previous criminal past, Kartheek was allegedly involved in street fights with the youngsters in Lalapet. After office manager warned the issue of Kartheek love affair, they also brough the issue to notice of his parents. Following the incident, the parents found fault with their son and said they asked Kartheek to mend his ways.



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