In an incident that has sent shock waves through Kerala, a young man set a girl on fire, that too in a classroom. The incident happened inside a classroom of Kottayam School of Medical Education (SME) on Wednesday afternoon.
The man, in an act of depravity, doused himself with petrol and targeted a young woman who had rejected his advances.
With more than 80% burns, both of them succumbed to their injuries later in the day, at the Government Medical College Hospital (GMC), Kottayam.
Adarsh Suneendran (26), was a former student of Physiotherapy at Gandhinagar center of the Kottayam SME college, while the girl was identified as Lekshmi (21), who was a final year student at the same college.
Adarsh had come to college to write his supplementary examinations as he had failed in some subjects. However, that was not all, as he brought a can of petrol with him.
As Adarsh entered the classroom with a bag and said 'Hello Lekshmi', none of the classmates felt suspicious. In a matter of minutes, he doused her face and body with petrol. Before the few students in the classroom could understand what was happening around them, a terrified Lekshmi ran out screaming, Adarsh behind her.
Lekshmi ran into the college library. Two students who were in the library later told the police that they were taken aback as a screaming Reshmi whose clothes were wet entered the library. "She came running and then he came and hugged her. Suddenly, there was fire," one of the students said.a
Adarsh collapsed in the library, but Lekshmi ran out. In her panic, she seemed to have lost her way and ran into a narrow corridor which was largely empty. A few staff members and students found her lying on the floor, her entire body on fire. Though they doused the fire with water, Lekshmi had already suffered severe burns.
Adarsh died in the hospital first, and then Lekshmi.
Reports say that Adarsh had proposed to Lekshmi and she had rejected it, but he had been insistent to get into a relationship. Lekshmi’s father had also filed a police complaint against him earlier.
In a dying declaration at the hospital, Adarsh told doctors that he poured petrol over himself and forcibly poured it on Lekshmi after entering the classroom.
"He told doctors that he hugged her while she tried to run away and lit the fire. He also said they were earlier in a relationship and later she betrayed him," Dr. R P Renjin, RMO of GMC, Kottayam told the media.
Other students who tried to save Lekshmi also suffered a few burn injuries.
"We all brought water from toilets and sprayed it on her, but by the time, it was too late, as half of her body was burnt,” Lekshmi’s classmate Ashwin told the media.
Adarsh was a native of Kollam district and Lekshmi was from Alappuzha district.