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Relatives burn pregnant woman alive

  

KISHOR BUDHATHOKI

BIRATNAGAR: The relatives of a pregnant woman burnt her alive in Itahara‚ Katnu‚ in Morang today in one of the most barbarous cases of violence against women in the country.

According to police‚ 22-year-old Maina Bardewa Bhitrikoti was burnt alive this morning in one of the cruelest manners one could imagine. “The family members put her into a bale of hay in a field close to their house and set her ablaze‚” said SI Rajendra Chundal of Area Police Office‚ Sijuwa. “By the time police reached the scene‚ the fire had charred half of her body‚” he said. “Preliminary investigation shows that the four-month pregnant woman was severely thrashed till she passed out before she was burnt alive.” Irate locals and family members of Maina’s parental side had tried to attack her husband Prithvi Bhitrikoti and his family and torch his house‚ but security personnel stopped them from doing so.

“Yesterday Maina rang me up to say she wanted to discuss some domestic issues. I had told her I would reach (her home) on Monday morning‚ but I did not know yesterday was the last time I was talking to her‚” said Maina’s mother. “At around 3 in the morning today he (Prithvi) called us to say that Maina had left home. But after three hours we came to know that they had murdered her.”

Maina’s parents have filed an FIR at Area Police office‚ Sijuwa‚ seeking action against the perpetrators. Police have detained six persons‚ including Maina’s husband Prithvi‚ and four other members of her in-laws’ family and two others who were guests at Prithvi’s home. Prithvi has already pleaded guilty.

Maina of Itahara was married to Prithvi about two years ago. Prithvi had returned from Qatar eight months ago. It is learnt that relations between Maina and her husband and family had started to sour about a year ago after she suffered a miscarriage. Morang DSP Deepak Pokharel said further investigation into the case was under way.

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