Millennium Post

Teacher set on fire by stalker 'critical'; doctor flown in

Mumbai/Nagpur: The Maharashtra Government on Tuesday flew a burns specialist doctor to Nagpur, where a college teacher from Wardha district who was set on fire by a stalker is battling for life.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted that Sunil Keswani, a specialist from the Navi Mumbai-based National Burns Centre, was accompanying him to Nagpur to supervise the treatment of the victim.

Residents of Hinganghat and Samudrapur areas in Wardha took out a protest march, demanding death penalty for the accused, Vikesh Nagrale (27).

Nagrale allegedly set Ankita Pisudde (25) ablaze at Hinganghat town on Monday morning while she was on her way to college.

She is being treated at Orange City Hospital in Nagpur, where doctors said her condition was "very critical".

"At present, her condition is still very critical," a medical bulletin issued by the hospital said, adding that she was on oxygen support.

"In view of her very critical condition, prognosis has been repeatedly explained to relatives and police personnel," the bulletin said.

Wardha's guardian minister Sunil Kedar and Hinganghat BJP MLA Samir Kunnawar visited the hospital on Tuesday.

Around 7,000 people, including members of political parties, women and college students, marched from Nanduri Chowk to Ambedkar Square in Wardha town, demanding a fast- tracked trial and death penalty for the accused.

A few demonstrators also demanded that the accused be "handed over to the public for ten minutes", an official said.

Residents of Hinganghat town and neighbouring areas also called for a shut-down.

Home minister Deshmukh said the incident was a "blot on humanity". "The case will be tried in a fast-track court and the accused would be punished severely," he tweeted.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked the police to ensure that the accused was convicted.

Thackeray took a serious note of the incident, a statement from his office said, adding that expenses of the woman's treatment would be borne from the Chief Minister's Medical Assistance Fund.

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women on Monday directed the Wardha Superintendent of Police to submit a report on the incident.

According to the police, Nagrale, who was arrested soon after the incident, and the woman were friends till two years ago when she severed ties with him due to his "irrational behaviour".

"Nagrale is a married man and has a seven-month-old son. He works in a firm in Balharshah. He used to stalk the woman. He had even tried to commit suicide last year," the official said.

The victim's cousin Shubham Pisudde told PTI that Nagrale had been harassing her for the last many years despite repeated warnings. "Her marriage (engagement) was broken last year due to Nagrale," she said.

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