Spurned 'lover' sets girl ablaze in Kochi, both die of burns

Spurned 'lover' sets girl ablaze in Kochi, fire engulfs both
Midhun, Devika Shalan

Kochi: In yet another spine-chilling incident of attack by a spurned lover, a 17-year-old girl and a youth died at Kakkanad on Wednesday after the latter set both on fire.

The incident happened near Athani Juma Masjid in Kalangadu near Kakkanad in Kerala's Ernakulam district. The plus two student was set on fire by the youth at her residence on Wednesday midnight.

Devika, daughter of Shalan Padmalayam, suffered severe injuries and succumbed to her death shortly after being taken to the hospital. The alleged attacker, Midhun, also suffered injuries as the fire spread on to his body and died in the hospital.

Police said Midhun wanted to marry Devika, but the latter refused the proposal.

'He wanted to kill whole family'

on Wednesday night, Midhun arrived at her residence on a motorcycle, knocked on the door and demanded to see her. She was lit on fire after being doused with petrol. The fire also caught on Midhun and engulfed him.

Shalan's attempt to rescue his daughter went invain. He too suffered burn injuries.

Neighbours alerted the police who came and took the three to the hospital. Midhun and Devika succumbed to their injuries shortly after reaching the hospital. 

Devika's mother Molly and her younger sibling were also at the home during the attack. Molly said that Midhun tried to pour petrol over her also and had intended to kill the whole family. Molly, who fainted after the incident, is under treatment at a hospital near here.

One of Devika's classmates alleged that Midhun used to pester the victim at the tuition centre she used to study and the duo had an argument on Wednesday evening.

The bloody trail of vengeance

Wednesday's incident was the latest in a series of attacks against women for turning down marriage proposals. Here is a list of incidents happened in 2019.

June 15, 2019: Soumya Pushpakaran, a Civil Police Officer from Vallikunnam, Mavelikkara, was hacked and burnt to death in broad day light by another CPO named N A Ajaz. Ajaz also succumbed to the fire injuries he sustained during the attack.

May 31, 2019: Pushpalata, 39, a nursing assistant at SAT Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, was stabbed by former ambulance driver Nidhin of Kollam after she rejected his marriage proposal. The right ear of the Chengannur native was partially severed in the attack.

May 28, 2019: In Meenadom near Kottayam, a man tried to murder a woman after she ended their friendship. Nedungottu Shins from Vattakkunnu near Meenadom entered the woman's house and tried to smother her with a pillow.

April 4, 2019: An engineering student Neethu, 22, of Thrissur was killed by her friend Nidheesh, a resident of Vadakkekad. She was hacked and then set ablaze after she rejected his marriage proposal.

March 14, 2019: Palakkad native Manu, 24, tried to set a woman ablaze at Panampilly Nagar in Kochi after she rejected his overtures. The youth who fled to Abu Dhabi was arrested after a month.

March 13, 2019: A girl student was stabbed and set on fire by 18-year-old Ajin Reji Mathew after she backed off from their relationship. The incident happened in broad daylight at Thiruvalla town. The girl later succumbed to her injuries.