Woman arrested for setting domestic help on fire

September 17th, 2008 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 16 (IANS) A 30-year-old woman was arrested here Tuesday for killing her domestic help by setting her on fire, police said.Priya Ram, the wife of a financier, allegedly doused 40-year-old Parameshwari Narayanamurthy with kerosene and set her ablaze Monday. The maid servant had apparently refused refused to return Rs.15,000 she had borrowed, police said.

Before succumbing to her injuries at a government hospital Tuesday, the victim declared that her employer Priya Ram was the perpetrator. Following Parameshwari’s death, Priya was arrested, officials said.

Priya has, however, claimed innocence.

In a statement to the police, Priya claimed she had visited the victim to request her to return to her job and repay the borrowed sum in instalments. The victim doused herself with kerosene and threatened suicide if the loan was not written off immediately. Straying inadvertently near a lighted stove, Parameshwari’s clothes caught fire, Priya claimed.

A lawyer representing the suspect claimed Priya was physically weak and did not have the ability to lift a full jerrycan of kerosene, douse the victim and set her aflame.

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