A sub-inspector of Calcutta police and his wife suffered critical burn injuries after the woman allegedly attempted self-immolation at the police residential complex in Salt Lake.
Police said the couple had a fight on Saturday night, which might have prompted the wife to pour kerosene and set herself alight. Her husband apparently suffered burn injuries while trying to save her.
Witnesses told the police that the middle-aged sub-inspector had wrapped a bed sheet and clothes around his wife after seeing her in flames.
The officer is attached to traffic police battalion and has been married for 23 years. The couple have a 19-year-old daughter.
The girl was not at home when the incident occurred. She returned home from tuition around 12.30pm on Sunday and learnt that her parents had suffered burns.
The couple were admitted to the burns unit of a private hospital off the Bypass, where doctors said their condition was “extremely critical”.
“The woman has suffered 90 per cent burns and her husband had 70 per cent burn injuries. Both of them are on ventilator support,” an official of the hospital said.
Police sources said the incident occurred around noon in the sub-inspector’s third-floor flat at the housing complex in Salt Lake’s AF Block.
Neighbours said they broke open the main door to the flat after hearing the woman’s screams.
“A few moments later, even her husband was shouting for help. We broke open the main door and doused the fire by putting blankets on them. By that time, both of them were badly burnt. We rushed them to hospital,” a neighbour said.
Family members contested the police’s conclusion that the woman attempted self-immolation. “They are doting parents and their lives revolve around their daughter. It is impossible to accept that they might have been so reckless. It seems like an accident,” the sub-inspector’s elder brother said.
The officer had joined Calcutta police in 1990 as a constable. He was promoted to the rank of sub-inspector last year.