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Murder finger at lover family

Gangtok, Jan. 17: The father of the youth who died of burn injuries yesterday in the house of the 17-year-old girl he wanted to marry lodged a complaint with Gangtok police alleging that he had been killed by the minor’s family.

Yesterday, the girl’s father said Pankaj Verma, 21, had barged into the girl’s house in East Sikkim the previous night, sprinkled kerosene on himself and the girl’s family members. He set himself on fire and embraced them in a bid to kill them.

The girl, her mother, father and two brothers suffered burn injuries and were admitted to the Central Referral Hospital here.

Superintendent of police (East), Manoj Tewari, said this morning, Pankaj’s father lodged a complaint seeking legal action against the girl’s family.

“My son was very happy that day. We cooked food together and left for work in the morning. Later in the evening, I received a call from my house owner who said my son was in a critical condition,” said the youth’s father Uday Verma, a plumber.“I spoke to my son at the hospital. He told me that the girl’s brother had invited him to their house to celebrate the girl’s birthday. But when he went there, he was beaten up and set on fire.”

Tewari said: “The father’s statement has been recorded. Police will carry on with the investigation and slap charges once it is over.”

The additional district collectorate had recorded the youth’s “dying statement”.

“The statement has been recorded and sent to the police for the further investigation. ‘Dying statement’ is a statement taken from a dying person and is considered as a strong evidence in court,” said the district collectorate, Jitendra Raje.

A senior officer at the collectorate said the youth in his dying statement had accused the girl’s family members of killing him.