The victim’s sister and mother suffered severe burns when they tried to save her, police said. Neighbours put out the fire and rushed all three women to Kilpauk Medical College (KMC).
Induja was declared brought dead, while her mother and sister are said to be in a critical condition with 50 and 20 per cent burns, respectively.
Bringing back memories of the chilling daylight murder of techie Swathi in the city a year ago, the accused, Akash (23), a college dropout known to Induja visited her house on the first floor of the apartment and got into an argument with her in front of her mother Renuka and younger sister Nivedha.
As the quarrel took a turn for the worse, Akash rushed out and returned with a can of turpentine. He suddenly poured the turpentine on Induja and set her ablaze using his cigarette lighter.
According to the police, Aakash and Induja had studied in the same school. He had been pestering Induja to marry him. On learning that her family was looking for a groom for her, Aakash went to Induja’s residence on Monday night and once again proposed to her.
She rejected the proposal and shouted at him. Enraged, Aakash allegedly doused her in turpentine, set her on fire and fled from the spot, police said.
Her uncle told reporters later, “Akash was stalking my niece for a month. Knowing that my brother is working abroad, the accused came to Induja’s residence. Initially, they did not open the door but Akash insisted that he would only talk to Induja. When they opened the door, he poured turpentine on Induja and set them on fire and fled the spot.”
Investigating officer inspector S Murali, said the motive of the crime was “very clear”. Akash was pursing the girl even though she rejected him,” he said.
Despite several shocking cases of attacks on young girls by youth who have been turned down by them, there has been only one conviction
- 2017, OCTOBER: 22-year-old Rohithkumar slashed a girl’s face in St Thomas Mount for refusing to reciprocate his love.
- 2016, JUNE 24: The 24-year-old techie Swathi was stabbed to death by accused, P Ramkumar who later committed suicide in the prison.
- 2017, APRIL 21: Parthiban (21) poured kerosene over his colleague Mythili (20) and himself and set themselves ablaze. Both died.
- 2016, DECEMBER 8: Sowmya, a sales girl was fatally attacked by Prasad in Perungalathur.
- 2016, OCTOBER 29: N Sivaranjani (25) was attacked with knife by her former colleague S Aravind Kumar (32) at CMBT, a former colleague of the victim.
- 2014, MAY 12: Lakshmi Devi (24) was stabbed multiple times by accused Saravan at Rutland gate junction. She survived the attack.
- 2013, JANUARY 30: S Vijaya Bhaskar threw acid on 21-year-old Vidya when she turned down his marriage proposal. The accused was awarded life imprisonment in 2015.