October 18, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
Maharashtra, India: A 65-year-old woman was set on fire by three men in Babhulgaon near Yeola, about 85km from Nashik, on Thursday (October 16) night for not voting the candidate of their choice, says media reports. With 80 per cent burns, 65-yr-old battles for life at Nashik hospital.
The three have been arrested and sent to police custody.
A news reported by DNA says: [w]hen Zelubai Wabale was on her way to the polling booth on Wednesday (Oct. 15), the three men accosted her and asked her to press button No 3 on the EVM. After the voting got over, they enquired with her and she told them that she had pressed the button with the watch symbol [that is No 2], according to her statement to the Yeola police. They threatened to kill her and throw her body in the river, she alleged.
NCP’s Chhagan Bhujbal was listed on No. 2 while Shiv Sena’s Sambhaji Pawar was on No 3. The main fight in Yeola is between Bhujbal and Pawar.
On Thursday, around eight in the night, when Wabale was sitting outside her house, the three men — Ashok Bornare, 38, Pamdurang Bornare, 45, and Nandakishore Bhurak, 40, — walked up to her and started an argument on why she did not press button No 3.
While they were arguing, Ashok Bornare suddenly poured kerosene on her. He was carrying a can with him. Before she could react, Bornare’s brother Pandurang lit a matchstick and threw it at her while Bhurak held her.
Hearing her screams, her relative Santosh Garge who lives nearby came running out of his house. He threw a blanket over her in an attempt to douse the flame. Garge informed Wabale’s daughter and together they took Wabale to the Yeola rural hospital. There the Yeola police took her statement. At midnight she was shifted to the Nashik civil hospital. She has suffered 80 per cent burns.
The Bornare brothers and Bhurak, all residents of Babhalgaon, have been booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC. The police picked them up from their homes.
The Yeola court has remanded them in police custody till October 20.
Wabale’s son Raghunath, however, had a different take on the incident. Raghunath, who stays at Chandgaon in Vaijapur village, about 25km from Babhulgaon, termed it an “accident”. She suffered burns while cooking, he said while speaking to the media outside the civil hospital. “My mother is not in a proper condition and is wrongly taking names of people who came to save her. There is no point in involving innocent villagers,” he said.
Sanjay Mohite, SP, Nashik, said the police have recorded Walabe’s statement and registered an FIR. “We will investigate the matter and truth will prevail. Retracting or changing the statement will not change the investigation,” he said.
Of the three arrested, Ashok Bornare is an ex-servicemen and the other two are farmers.
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