According to police, Rukmini's family members had opposed her decision to marry a man out of her caste and were threatening the couple ever since they had tied the knot.
A two-month pregnant lady succumbed to burn injuries while her husband was seriously injured when the newly married couple was set ablaze by the family members of the woman in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. According to a report in The Indian Express, the horrific incident took place in Nighoj village of Parnar taluka on the afternoon of May 1 and the woman died on Sunday night at a hospital in Pune where she was undergoing treatment.
Police said that the deceased woman has been identified as Rukmini Ransingh (19). She had suffered 70% burns in the incident. The lady was admitted to Pune’s Sassoon General Hospital where she lost her battle for life. Her husband has been identified as Mangesh Ransinggh, a mason who worked at a construction site in Pune. He sustained 50% burns and is being treated at the same hospital.
Police said that they have launched a probe into the crime based on the statement recorded by the couple during treatment at the hospital and the dying declaration made by Rukmini. Police said that they have arrested the deceased lady’s uncles Surendra Bhartiy and Ghansham Saroj. Police said that a hunt is currently underway to trace the location of Rukmini’s father Rama Bhartiy. He had fled the village after the incident. The IE report said that Rama Bhartiy was among those who set the couple ablaze.
Vijay Kumar Bothre, sub-inspector of Parner police station and investigating officer, informed that Rukmini’s family originally hails from Uttar Pradesh and comes from Pasi community. They have settled in Nighoj village a few years ago. Rukmini and Mangesh, a Lohar by caste, fell in love and tied the knot around Diwali last year. Bothre said that Rukmini family members were against her decision but she went against their wish and married Mangesh.
According to Bothre, the wedding took place at Alandi in Pune due to opposition from the woman’s family. He said that while Mangesh’s family members attended the wedding, only Rukmini’s mother was present from the bride’s side. He said that ever since the marriage, Rukmini’s family members have been threatening to harm the couple. “Rukmini’s family was saying they were against the inter-caste marriage,” the police official said.
Police added that on April 30, the couple had a fight over a petty issue following which Rukmini went to her father’s house. On May 1, Mangesh told police in his statement that Rukmini called him and asked him to take her back. When Mangesh reached her wife’s home, the family refused to allow Rukmini to go with him. After a heated argument, Rukmini’s two uncles locked the couple inside a room and poured petrol on them and then set them on fire.
On hearing their screams, neighbours took the couple to a government hospital in Ahmednagar from where they were referred to Sassoon General Hospital in Pune. Police said that after receiving the postmortem report of Rukmini, the case will be upgraded to murder from attempt to murder charge.
Manesh and his brothers Mahesh and Vikrant were working at a construction site in Pune. Mahesh said that on May 1, he and Vikrant were in Pune while Mangesh had gone to his wife’s place to pick her. He said that around 3 pm, he received a call that Mangesh’s in-laws thrashed him and his wife. He informed that Rukmini was two months’ pregnant when she died.