On Wednesday afternoon, several students of the Government Lower Primary School in Shambaiahnapalya near Magadi ran out of their classroom in panic after a man set their teacher on fire in front of them.
According to reports, 50-year-old Sunanda, a teacher of Social Sciences, was set ablaze inside a classroom by her husband Renukananda over financial disputes.
The Hindu reports that Renukananda had walked into the school and sought the permission of the headmaster Shivanna to speak to his wife, claiming that Sunanda was suffering from Chikkungunya and that he had come to take her to a hospital. Renukananda then barged into the classroom where Sunanda was teaching students and demanded that the students to leave the classroom. While the students proceeded to go to the adjacent classroom, they were witness to the brutal attack.
Hearing Sunanda's cries for help, headmaster Shivanna and other teaching and non-teaching staff rushed to the classroom and doused the fire using a table cloth.
“Around 2 pm, a man entered the classroom and shouted at the teacher, and they argued for a while. The teacher asked him to leave the room. He opened a bottle and poured some liquid on her. He struck a match and set her on fire. We were helpless and screamed,“ a student told The Times of India.
Headmaster M. Shivanna, who doused the fire, was quoted as saying by The Hindu, “The moment I heard her screams, I ran out of my classroom and saw Renukananda running from the school towards his parked car. I entered the classroom and saw Ms. Sunanda engulfed in flames."
The report states that while Sunanda sustained 40% burn and is undergoing treatment, Shivanna was treated for burns in his hands.
According to Superintendent of Police B. Ramesh, Renukananda was Sunanda's second husband, who was demanding money from her to start a business venture. Instead of handing over the money to him, Sunanda reportedly gave it to her son from her first husband, which seemed to have irked Renukananda.