The Kerala Police on Monday said a woman civil police officer who was burnt to death in Alappuzha district two days ago was killed by the attacker, also a civil police officer, for rejecting his marriage proposal, The Hindu reported. Soumya Pushpakaran was killed in the district’s Vallikunnam village by her colleague Ajas.

District police chief KM Tony claimed Ajas, who used to work with the Aluva traffic police team, was in love with Pushpakaran. “They had known each other from their time at the police academy,” Tony said. “It does not mean that were having an affair. Soumya had borrowed Rs 1.25 lakh from Ajas. When she tried to return the amount, he did not accept it and instead proposed marriage. Soumya, married and a mother of three children, rejected the proposal.”

Indira, Pushpakaran’s mother, alleged Ajas had threatened and attacked her daughter once before. “He did this to my daughter earlier too,” The News Minute quoted Indira as saying. “Once he had poured petrol on her and beaten her with shoes on her back. I then told her that I would speak to him, but she objected fearing that if I intervened things would get worse. Later, she was somehow hoping that he would become a bit calm.”

Pushpakaran’s mother claimed her daughter had paid back Ajas’s money two weeks back. “But he transferred it back,” she added. “We then met him in Kochi and tried to hand over the money, but he refused. He said he wanted to marry her. He had earlier attacked my daughter and threatened to kill her husband.”

Indira said she had informed the Vallikkunnam police about the threat. Pushpakaran’s elder son also said his mother had told him about the threat from Ajas. Pushpakaran’s funeral will be held after the arrival of her husband, who is employed overseas.

KM Tony, the district police chief, said the statement of Ajas would be recorded soon. He has been admitted to the Alappuzha Government Medical College with burn injuries.

Pushpakaran was on her way home on Saturday after attending a Student Police Cadet camp near Vallikunnam, when Ajas reportedly hit her scooter with his car, and hacked her with a knife when she attempted to escape. He then doused her with kerosense before setting her ablaze. Pushpakaran died on the spot.