The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday arrested four people for setting on fire a 19-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man in Banda district, The Indian Express reported. Bhola and Priyanka were allegedly burnt alive by the woman’s brother and other family members.
The police said that some neighbours had on Wednesday spotted the man at the woman’s house when her family members were away. The neighbours then informed the woman’s parents about the man.
“The family members returned to the house and locked the door from outside,” Banda Additional Superintendent of Police Mahendra P Chauhan said. “Then, the man’s family members were called… who apologised and requested that the matter not be taken to the police. The woman’s family members, however, asked her to register a complaint with the police alleging that the man was harassing her. She refused.”
The police officer said the woman’s brother got angry after she refused to file a complaint, thinking that the “family honour” would be affected. “The brother then poured kerosene into the room that had a thatched roof and the two were set on fire,” Chauhan added.
While the woman succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital, the man died at the district hospital.
The arrested persons have been identified as the woman’s parents Asha Devi and Hukum Singh, her brother Devendra Kumar and another relative Lakkhu Kumar. Five others are still absconding.
“The two were also distant relatives and the woman’s family had already fixed her marriage to someone else, but that was delayed due to the lockdown,” Chauhan said. “After she refused to file a complaint against the man, her family feared that the marriage might be called off.”