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Woman sets self, child afire

Bangalore, April 6, 2013, DHNS: 2:43 IST
Relatives mourn the death of Shravanthi and her daughter Darshapriya (inset), at Chowdeshwarinagar in Laggere, on Saturday.  DH Photo
Shravanthi, 27, a native of Putlooru village in Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh, allegedly set herself and her year-old daughter Darshapriya afire, depressed that her husband Narasimhulu, who had deserted her, did not bother to visit their daughter.

Shravanthi and her daughter were alone at their house in Chowdeshwarinagar, Laggere, when she took the extreme step. While her mother Lakshmidevamma was away visiting their native village, her elder brother Naresh who runs a saloon in Chowdeshwarinagar was at work at the time of the incident.

Shravanthi had moved to Bangalore along with her family five years ago and had married Narasimhulu, a hairdresser from Ananthapur, who ran a saloon in Mahalakshmi Layout. Narasimhulu deserted his pregnant wife a year and a half ago, following differences over his extramarital affair.

Naresh said that to help his sister come out of depression, he had borrowed money and set up a beauty parlour at Lavakusha Nagar a month ago and named it ‘Darsha Ladies Parlour’, after her daughter.

Naresh was informed of the tragedy by neighbour Kumari who lives opposite Shravanthi’s house. Noticing smoke billowing out of the bathroom window, she summoned other neighbours who tried to douse the fire.

Vishwanath, a storekeeper with Reliance and Shravanthi’s neighbour said: “First we broke open the windows and poured bucketsful of water inside. We initially thought it was a fire accident and that the house was empty. But when I climbed the compound wall, I was shocked to see a charred body. We broke open the door and rushed in, only to find the mother and child dead in the bathroom and a kerosene container lying nearby.”

Incidentally, according to Naresh, Shravanthi had bought six litres of kerosene with her ration card the previous day. “I think, she had decided to end her life. She was abusing herself and her daughter that her father had not visited them. She could have left back the child for us,” he said. The bodies were handed over to the family after an autopsy at Victoria Hospital. Rajagopal Nagar police have registered a case.

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