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Photo Credit: Canadian Press stock images

by Nandika Ravi

In a heart wrenching incident in Maharashtra’s Beed district, a  22-year-old woman has died after being doused in acid, covered in petrol and set on fire.

The woman was found abandoned in a large pit with severe acid injuries and burns on Satrurday. Nearly 12 hours later, she was spotted by villagers passing by. The woman sustained 60 per cent burns and succumbed to her injuries after fighting for her life on Sunday morning.

The victim gave her statement to the local police before dying. She said that her partner, a 25-year-old man, was travelling with her from Pune to Nanded district when he started attacking her during their journey. He first threw acid and then set her ablaze by drenching her in petrol. The incident occurred around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. Local police say that she couldn’t give them enough information about the man’s motive behind the attack. They have identified the accused as Avinash Rajure, who was detained in Nanded on Sunday evening.

“What we know yet is based on what the woman told us prior to her death and our subsequent probe,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Bhaskar Sawant, told a local newspaper.

“They took rest in a quarry located around 200 feet off the main road. Early Saturday, the man tried to strangle her. Later, he threw acid on her and set her ablaze with petrol. He then fled.”

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said in a tweet in Marathi on Sunday evening, “the accused has been arrested in the case of acid attack on a young woman in which she was set ablaze. To make sure the perpetrator gets maximum possible sentence, I have instructed that the matter be prosecuted in a fast track court. I am personally monitoring the case.”

Police say that the accused and the victim were in a relationship, but now he wanted  to marry someone else, which could have been the motive behind this attack. Charges of murder and acid attack under the Indian Penal Code, have been laid.