Mumbai, Jun 14: The Trombay police arrested Balaji Mane (50) for setting his wife Kalpana Mane on fire, after a drunken brawl, last night. Mane wanted money to buy alcohol. Kalpana was rushed to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Hospital, Sion, with 90 per cent burns, but died at 7 am. Balaji was arrested by the police late Monday night. Kalpana is his first wife.
According to the police, Balaji, a resident of the Panjrapol area at Chembur, worked as a labourer and had frequent fights with his wife, about his alcoholism. The police said that last evening, Balaji came home drunk, doused his wife with petrol and burnt her after a fight.
Son to the rescue
His son Nagesh (18) who was a few houses away, saw smoke emanating from his home, broke open the door and rescued his burning mother. However, on-duty PSI Pradip Vani said that Kalpana had suffered 90 per cent burns. He added that Kalpana has given a declaration that Balaji burnt her.
Trombay police sources added this was not the first time Balaji tried to commit murder. He had burnt his second wife, Mahadevi, just five months ago. She succumbed to the burns and a case of murder is pending against him in the court.
Balaji’s neighbours confirmed that Balaji’s second wife had also been burnt to death, following which he went back to Kalpana.
Balaji’s house in Panjrapol bore testimony to the incident – the floor was blackened and there was ash everywhere.
However, a neighbour who wished to remain anonymous said Balaji was actually outside the house when Kalpana locked herself in the room and burnt herself. Kalpana is survived by three boys and a girl.