Woman, relative torch her husband alive in car in Tiruppur

Victim was a powerloom owner who could not walk due to an injury

The Tiruppur District Police on Friday arrested a woman and her relative on charges of burning her husband alive inside a car near Perumanallur.

According to police, Rangaraj (62), a powerloom owner from Perundurai in Erode district, was discharged from a private hospital in Coimbatore on Thursday. He suffered an accident on March 15 and was unable to walk. His wife Jothimani (55) and relative Raja (41) put him in the car and the three headed for Perundurai on Thursday evening.

Raja, who drove the vehicle, stopped it at Valasupalayam near Perumanallur around 11 p.m. He and Jothimani got out of the car, poured petrol on it and set it ablaze, burning Rangaraj alive inside the car.

The two then reported this to Perumanallur police on Friday morning as a death caused by an accidental fire. Superintendent of Police Disha Mittal said that, however, the police got “crucial CCTV footages” during their investigation. “We got the footage where he [Raja] was attempting to purchase petrol [at a fuel station],” she told The Hindu. Upon interrogation with the evidence, the accused confessed to the murder, Ms. Mittal said.

According to preliminary investigations, the deceased had loans to the tune of ₹1.5 crore and that the murder was done in fear of being unable to repay these loans, police sources said. Investigations also revealed that the deceased had taken insurance policies in the name of Jothimani worth around ₹ 3.5 crore. Further investigations are on to establish the motive behind the murder, according to the sources.

The police seized ₹ 50,000 cash from the accused, which Jothimani allegedly paid Raja to carry out the murder. She allegedly assured that ₹ 50,000 more would be paid after the murder, police sources said.

The Perumanallur police registered a case against Jothimani and Raja under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 302 (Punishment for murder). The two were remanded in judicial custody.

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