Millennium Post

Lecturer set afire by stalker dies, kin seek speedy justice

Nagpur: The 25-year-old woman lecturer who was set ablaze by a stalker in Maharashtra's Wardha district last week died while undergoing treatment at a hospital here on Monday morning, officials said.

Ankita Pisudde, resident of Hinganghat town in Wardha, had been critical after sustaining 35 to 40 per cent "grade III" burns on February 3 when she was set afire allegedly by one Vikesh Nagrale (27) while she was on way to her college, they said.

She was undergoing treatment at the Nagpur-based Orange City Hospital & Research Centre where doctors declared her dead at 6.55 am on Monday, Hinganghat's police inspector Satyaveer Bandiwar said.

Later, some angry locals threw stones to block a road in Hinganghat when an ambulance carrying the woman's body was about half-a-kilometre away from the victim's native village Daroda, but the police brought the situation under control.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed grief over the woman's death and said "the case would be heard in a fast track court". He urged Hinganghat residents to maintain peace.

Thackeray said his government will study the Disha Act, enacted recently by the Andhra Pradesh government, and try to make laws stricter to prevent such incidents in future.

The Disha Act mandates completion of investigation into cases of sexual offences within seven working days from the time of record and trial within 14 working days from the date of filing the charge sheet.

Pisudde's distraught father said he hoped his daughter would get speedy justice and it would not be delayed like the Nirbhaya gangrape case.

"The accused should also go through the pain that my daughter went through in these seven days. We want justice as soon as possible and it should not be delayed as in the Nirbhaya case," he told reporters outside the hospital.

State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh also said the case trial would be held in a fast track court and a family member of the victim would be given a government job.

The woman sustained deep burn injuries on scalp, face, right upper limb, left hand, upper back, neck and eyes along with severe inhalational injuries, the hospital said in a medical bulletin.

She died of "septicemic shock" after suffering from deep dermal burns along with severe inhalational injuries, respiratory distress and related complications, it said.

Around 4 am on Monday, her oxygen levels deteriorated inspite of ventilator support, coupled with decreasing urine output and reduction in blood pressure, the hospital said.

As part of immediate resuscitation measures, medicines were escalated to maintain the blood pressure and all feasible steps were taken to improve the oxygen levels in blood, but the patient remained "extremely critical", it said.

"Around 6.30 am, she had bradycardia and inspite of prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the patient could not be revived and was declared dead at 6.55 am," it said.

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