|The Samtanagar police have arrested a 30-year-old man, Sachin Gangaram Shigvan, for assaulting and attemtping to kill a woman and a friend who tried to rescue her.
Shradha Landge (23) and Minal Zeman (36) suffered serious burn injuries after Sachin attacked them with a can of insecticide and a lighter, but are out of danger. This is the latest in a spate of horrific attacks on women in Mumbai, and echoes the recent case of Jerrit John, an ad film-maker who threw acid on the face of a girl who rejected him.
According to the police, Sachin, who lost his wife and son two years ago, both to prolonged illnesses, had been attracted to Shrasha even before she got married. According to Shradha, he had been actively wooing her for the past four months, but in vain.
Since Shradha refused to leave her husband, Sachin tried a different tack – he befriended her husband and began telling both spouses made-up stories about the other’s infidelity. “This went on for a long time and caused many misunderstandings between my husband and I. But finally we understood that it was all Sachin’s doing,” said Shradha.
On Sunday, Shradha and her husband Shashikant, an auto driver, called Sachin for a chat over a cup of tea and tried to convince him to forget about Shradha. Sachin reacted angrily and started to abuse the two. Furious, Shashikant slapped him twice and threw him out of the house. On his way out, Sachin told them that he would get back at them.
On Tuesday morning, he returned for revenge. Around 11 am on Tuesday, Shradha was at her neighbour Shabana‘s house. Shabana and her watched TV while another friend, Minal Zeman (36) washed clothes outside. Sachin barged in and told Shabana to get out of the house. He said that Shradha had destroyed his life and now he would do the same to her.
As soon as Shabana fled, Sachin locked the door, unaware that Minal had already sneaked in and was hiding behind a curtain. Sachin was carrying a can of insecticide, which he sprayed on Shradha before setting fire to her. Shradha’s face, neck, left shoulder, and hair were burnt in the attack. Seeing her friend in trouble, Minal emerged and tried to douse the fire. Sachin warned Minal that if she did not leave, she would suffer the same fate as Shradha. Minal however refused to leave her friend’s side.
Sachin then tried to spray and burn her as well. Minal suffered burns but managed to run towards the door. When she opened it, she saw a large crowd gathered outside. People immediately rushed in to rescue to two women and nab Sachin. Sachin later told the police that he had intended to burn Shradha alive. Senior Inspector Nanasaheb Kamble of Samtanagar police station said, “The accused will be produced in court tomorrow. Both victims have been admitted to a hospital in Kandivali.”