A taxi driver set his wife on fire inside his car, the woman had doused herself with petrol to threaten her husband following a bitter argument inside the vehicle. The woman bravely threw her two children out of the car even as the fire engulfed her and gutted the car.1
The woman, N Prema, 28, was admitted with high degree burns at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital but died around 6pm. She gave a dying declaration to the police and doctors that her husband Nagaraj, 30, set her on fire after she had doused herself with petrol.
“Nagaraj stepped out of the car after setting her on fire. She managed to throw her children Thisanth Raj, 4, and two-year-old Yashwanth Raj through the open window on to the road. The children are out of danger and are admitted in KMC hospital for treatment,“ said a police officer.
Based on a complaint from Prema’s mother Amaravathi, the Saidapet police slapped a murder case under the Indian Penal Code Section 302 against Nagaraj, a cab driver attached to Ola, who drove a car owned by the husband of Prema’s sister. He will be remanded in judicial custody on Monday .
Police said Prema married Nagaraj, a native of Chengalpet, five years ago after her first husband deserted her.The couple lived at a house on Alaiamman Koil Street in Teynampet with their two children.
Police said Prema and the children were seated on the car’s back seat when the couple entered into a heated argument. Prema found a bottle of petrol kept beneath the seat and poured its contents on her body in a fit of rage. According to the woman’s final statement, Nagaraj stopped the car near the First Extension of Lotus Colony opposite Boston School and lit a matchstick to set off the fire. He then left the car, abandoning Prema and her children.
A team of police personnel led by Saidapet assistant commissioner of police S Thangaraj rescued the children and detained Nagaraj. Prema was alive and conscious till she was rushed to the hospital, said police. Later, she died at the hospital without responding to treatment.
The car was gutted in the incident. Police had left its charred remains on the road.