An 18-year-old girl was allegedly strangulated and burnt alive by her in-laws in Malavalli taluk in the wee hours of Thursday. Police said the girl was killed because she belonged to a different caste.
The victim has been identified as Shilpa, the only daughter of Mangalamma and Murugesh, a daily wage worker. They are residents of Bairaveshwaranagar in Metagalli in Mysore.
Shilpa was in a relationship with Abhijith, a garage mechanic in Mysore, for a year and they wanted to get married. While Shilpa belonged to the Nayaka caste, Abhijith (20) hails from a Scheduled Caste.
Abhijith is the son of Billaiah and Nagamma, residents of Jaidevanagar in Mysore.
On January 1, Shilpa told her mother that she was going to the temple and left home. But Shilpa and Abhijith got married and later informed their parents. Both sides opposed the wedding. Despite this, the couple rented a house in Belvadi near Hinkal in Mysore and started living together.
Mangalamma told Express that for the first time since her marriage, Shilpa came to her parents’ house on Tuesday morning. “She said that she was going to visit some temples in Talakadu and Mudukuthore in Malavalli taluk with Abhijith’s uncle Puttaswamy, aunt Pramila and her in-laws. “Shilpa took some clothes and left. I called her in the evening, but her mobile phone was switched off,” she said.
Police said they left Mysore and made several temple visits along the way and stayed in Sujjanur village on Wednesday.
In the wee hours of Thursday, the group was heading back to Mysore. When the vehicle neared Uppanahalli village, they stopped for a break. Shilpa got down and went to a nearby spot to attend to nature’s call. Puttaswamy followed her and tried to strangulate her with a rope. When Shilpa tied to escape, she was attacked with a knife on her neck by the other three. She tried to run, but her attackers caught up with her. They poured petrol on her and set her ablaze, and fled.
However, she managed to crawl till the main road. Some villagers noticed her and called the police and ambulance. Shilpa was taken to a hospital in Malavalli taluk and later shifted to MIMS Hospital in Mandya.
In a statement to the police, Shilpa named Abhijith’s uncle and aunt and her in-laws for the incident. Shilpa succumbed to injuries at around 12.30 pm.
MIMS, medical superintendent, K M Shivakumar said that Shilpa had received more than 50 per cent burns on her body.
Police said Pramila has been arrested, and further investigation is on.