A 22-year-old woman, who was in the final stages of her pregnancy, was set on fire by her husband after a domestic squabble near Thuckalay in the district on Friday.
Police said R Rajasekharan (23), of Aatturkonam near Manalikarai in Thuckalay, was married to Suja (22) and the couple had a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Suja was expecting another child and had been nine months pregnant. The couple had a love marriage without their parents’ consent in the middle of their under-graduation courses. Soon after the wedding, Rajasekaharn discontinued his studies and started work as a construction labourer.
Kottricode police said the young couple used to quarrel often. After a similar altercation on Thursday night, Rajasekharan attacked Suja and she fell unconscious. Rajasekharan, taking his wife to be dead, took her behind the house and doused her with kerosene. After setting his wife ablaze, Rajasekharana saw some movement in the body and rushed her to a hospital. The doctors, however, announced the woman ‘brought dead’, police said.
On information, Kottricode police investigated the crime scene and grilled Rajasekharan. Initially he said his wife had attempted suicide by self-immolation. However, later, he confessed to the crime, police said.
Suja’s parents and relatives alleged that Rajasekharan had been torturing his wife asking for dowry and this would often lead to a quarrel. Acting on a complaint from Suja’s relatives, police registered a case and arrested Rajasekharan on Friday night. He was remanded in judicial custody.
Suja’s family also thronged the police superintendent’s office and submitted a petition stating that Rajasekharan’s parents were also involved, demanding a case to be filed against his family.