Thirty-year-old Poornima, the daughter-in-law of former AIADMK MLA and Higher Education minister KP Anbalagan, died due to burn injuries on Thursday, January 25. She had sustained 83.5% burn injuries after her clothes caught fire while lighting an oil lamp on January 18. Dharmapuri police confirmed to TNM that as of now, they have no cause for suspicion regarding the death. According to the police, she had been wearing a nylon saree, which rapidly went up in flames when its edge caught fire from the lamp. They added that Poornima had made a statement before her death to the Dharmapuri District Magistrate explaining the same.
Poornima lived with her husband and his family in Kerakodahalli village in Dharmapuri district. On January 18, while lighting an oil lamp, her saree caught fire and went up in flames. According to the police, the domestic worker who was in the house at the time rushed to her aid and attempted to douse the flames. The police added that her husband Sasimohan (32) and his parents were not home at the time of the accident. Apart from the domestic worker, only two women relatives were present at the house. Poornima was rushed to the Government General Hospital in Dharmapuri for first-aid and then taken to Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore for further treatment, where she passed away.
Police told TNM that while they are still awaiting the blood and viscera report, they have no cause for suspicion so far, especially since Poornima herself had given a statement to the district magistrate in Dharmapuri explaining that she had been injured in an accident. Poornima’s parents also do not have any suspicions regarding her death, Dharmapuri police said.
TNM also spoke to Dharmapuri Revenue Division Officer (RDO) Geeta Rani who said that in case the death is ruled to be suspicious in nature upon the completion of the inquiry, she would conduct a separate inquiry with Poornima’s parents, husband, and in-laws to investigate if there was any history of dowry harassment. The RDO would be bound by law to this under section 174 of the CrPC (unnatural death) as Poornima had been married for less than seven years.