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Harassed widow attempts suicide

Calcutta, Dec. 23: A young widow set herself on fire and is battling for life in NRS Hospital after neighbours barged into her house and accused her of having an affair with their relative.

Hospital sources said the 24-year-old woman had suffered 90 per cent burns. She lives in Entally and the self-immolation bid took place around 8.30pm.

Three members of a family have been arrested on the charge of abetting the attempted suicide, police said.

The police said Kashinath Das, 51, and his wife Sandhya, 39, strode into the widow’s house and accused her of having an illicit relationship with their son Raja, 21.

The couple were accompanied by their teenage daughter.

They ransacked the house and a scuffle ensued with the widow, who has a two-and-a-half-year old son, the police said.

The jobless widow, whose husband died three months ago, poured kerosene over her head and set herself on fire.

Other neighbours doused the flames and informed the police before taking her to the hospital.

Das, his wife and daughter have been arrested, while Raja is absconding, the police said. Residents alleged that delay in police action helped Raja escape.

The neighbours said the widow had no relationship with Raja and suspected a bid to seize her three-room house.

Some residents jostled with the police but calmed down after the detention of the three was converted into arrest.

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