The accused, Rameshwar Madhukar Bhagwat, was arrested from Yeola town in Nashik. (Photo Credit: Photo For Representation)
A day after the 30-year-old woman was allegedly set on fire at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra’s Nashik district by a man she was in relationship with, her condition worsened on Sunday following which she was shifted to a hospital in Mumbai, police said.
The accused, Rameshwar Madhukar Bhagwat, was arrested from Yeola town in Nashik district on Sunday afternoon, they said.
However, in her statement to police, the victim, who has suffered over 65 per cent burns, said the accused did not intend to set her on fire as the petrol she was carrying in a bottle got spilled on both of them and the match stick lit by him, accidentally fell on her, an official from Lasalgaon police said.
“The incident had happened around 3.45 pm on Saturday at Lasalgaon bus stand. The victim suffered 67 per cent burn injuries in the incident and was admitted to Nashik district civil hospital,” police said.
“As her condition deteriorated on Sunday, she was shifted to a hospital in Mumbai,” they said. Nashik Rural Police arrested the accused, a resident of Pimpalgaon Najik in Niphad taluka of the district, an official said.
Bhagwat was booked under IPC section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), he added.
According to police, the relationship between the victim, a widow and mother of three, and Bhagwat had soured. The duo had reportedly tied the knot, but his family was opposed to the marriage. The man had recently got engaged with another woman, which had soured the relationship between the victim and him, they said.
In her statement, the victim told the police she and Bhagwat had come to the bus stand to sort out the differences between them.
“We came on separate two-wheelers. As the petrol in my two-wheeler got over, I took out a bottle full of petrol to fill the fuel tank. But when Bhagwat spotted me with the petrol bottle, he thought that I would harm myself and hence he snatched it from me,” the police quoted the woman as saying in her statement.
“In the process, the petrol spilled on both of us. Then Bhagwat lit a match stick and threatened to set himself on fire. But the match stick fell on me, due to which I caught fire. As Bhagwat got scared, he fled from the spot. But he did not have a motive to set me ablaze,” her statement added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who met the victim at the Nashik hospital late Saturday night, later told reporters that petrol pumps have been instructed not to give fuel in bottles henceforth and strict action will be taken against those found doing so.
“It was found that in the Lasalgaon incident, petrol was being carried in a bottle. Therefore, orders have been issued to petrol pump operators to not give fuel in bottles henceforth. But if it continues to happen, action will be taken against those involved,” he said.