The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sari squabble sparks burn death

Mallika Naru, 22, a housewife, died of burns in the Tiljala area on Tuesday. On October 10, she had left her in-laws’ Chowbhaga residence in Tiljala following a fight with her husband Ganesh over saris, which he had bought for her for the Pujas.

She, however, returned three days later on October 13 after Ganesh cajoled her to come back. On October 15, Mallika was admitted to the National Medical College and Hospital with 90 per cent burns and died later in the night.

Mallika’s father Ratan Mondol alleged that Ganesh had set his daughter on fire. He told the police that Ganesh would often beat up his daughter after brawls and arguments.

“He regularly tortured her for dowry and blamed her for not delivering a child. His mother, too, blamed my daughter for this,” Mondol said.

Additional superintendent of police, Rajesh Kumar Singh, said the Tiljala police station has registered a case under Section 498 of Indian Penal code and arrested Ganesh and his mother for torturing Mallika.

Officer in-charge, Tiljala police station, Subir Chatterjee said Ganesh, a shopkeeper, had married Mallika four years ago and rented a two-roomed house in Chowbhaga near the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

Sources said the couple started fighting soon after marriage. “Mallika was dominating and the two had frequent fights about this. Ganesh being a vegetable-seller was not making much money and would have trouble making ends meet,” sources said.

On October 10, Ganesh came home with two saris for his wife. Mallika did not like the saris and told Ganesh to take them back. “They quarrelled on this following which Mallika stormed out of the house and went to her father’s place in Amdanga,’’ a neighbour said.

A couple of days later, Ganesh arrived at the Amdanga house and requested Mallika to come back. “He was apologetic and extremely courteous to Mallika,’’ Ratan said.

Mallika returned home only to start a bitter fight on Tuesday afternoon. Neighbours say in the evening they heard screams of her being on fire.

Along with Ganesh, they took her to the National Medical College and Hospital, where she died a couple of hours later.

Thakurpukur arrests

Eight people were arrested and around 40 litres of country liquor seized during nightlong raids in the Thakurpukur-Behala fringe areas.

Those arrested were, however, released on Thursday morning after a spot fine. Sources said the arrests were carried out when the police arrived after clashes broke out between rival gangs on Mahatma Gandhi Road, in Thakurpukur, late on Wednesday.

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