Woman raped, burnt alive for rejecting marriage proposal

A 25-year-old mother of two was allegedly gangraped before being burnt alive for having spurned a man who wanted to marry her, police said on Tuesday.

The victim was raped by four men, including three brothers distantly related to her, at her Adarsh Gharkul building residence in Antop Hill locality of central Mumbai on Monday and then set ablaze. She succumbed to burn injuries at a city hospital early on Tuesday morning during treatment.

The accused, identified as Rajesh Devendra (30), Kumar Devendra (28), Nitya Devendra (25)-- (all three are brothers) --and their friend Shankar Mudaliyar (35) have been arrested.

Though the police said the exact motive behind the cruel act was being investigated, a relative alleged she was killed as the family had rejected Nitya Devendra's proposal to marry her a few years ago.

"Nitya wanted to marry her, but we rejected the proposal for some reasons," said Krishna Reddy, a relative of the deceased.

Police said the victim was alone when the desperadoes forced their way into her house. "According to the victim's dying declaration, the four raped her one by one. When she told them that she will lodge a police complaint, they set her on fire after pouring kerosene," said senior inspector D N Deokar of Antop Hill police station.

The victim's husband Raju Devendra, who works as a sweeper in civic body office in suburban Chembur, and her two children -- a three-year-old daughter and an infant son -- were not present in the house when the incident occurred, Deokar said.

He said the four were arrested on the basis of her dying declaration. The accused brothers live in the same building while their friend Mudaliyar stays in the same locality.

Rajesh and Kumar work as security supervisors with a developer while Nitya works in a motorbike Showroom. Shanker is a driver by profession.

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