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Maharashtra lecturer set on fire by stalker remains ‘critical but stable’

The woman was set ablaze by a stalker in Hinganghat on Monday while she was on way to the college where she taught.

SNS | New Delhi |

In another case of hate crime against women, the condition of 25-year-old woman lecturer who was set ablaze in Maharashtra’s Wardha district continued to remain “critical but stable”, hospital authorities said on Thursday.
The 25-year-old woman, the resident of Hinganghat town in Wardha, is being treated at the Orange City Hospital in Nagpur. She was set ablaze by a stalker, Vikesh Nagrale (27), in Hinganghat on Monday while she was on way to the college where she taught. She suffered 40 percent burns.

In a medical bulletin issued on Thursday, the hospital said, “No setbacks have occurred till now, although her condition remains critical. Her vitals are being maintained with oxygen supply. She is responding to commands. Her condition does remain critical.”

Specialists treating the woman were keeping an eye on anticipated complications like infection and respiratory deterioration, the hospital said. She underwent two sessions of debridement, dressings and upper limbs multiple fasciotomies, it added.

Debridement is a medical procedure to remove dead, damaged or infected tissue. Fasciotomy is a surgical procedure where the fascia (tissue) is cut to relieve tension or pressure commonly to treat the resulting loss of circulation to an area of tissue or muscle.

The state government on Tuesday flew Navi Mumbai-based National Burns Centre director Sunil Keswani to Nagpur to supervise the woman’s treatment.

State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who visited the hospital on Tuesday evening, announced that the trial of the accused would be fast-tracked, and well-known lawyer Ujjwal Nikam would be appointed as special prosecutor as per the request of the woman’s relatives.

Wardha Police on Wednesday said a special team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Trupti Jadhav will probe the case and collect all related evidence to file a charge sheet. Nagrale was harassing Pisudde for quite some time, they said.

After the incident on Monday, the accused tried to escape but he was arrested at Butibori industrial suburb in Nagpur within four hours, a police official earlier said. According to the police, Nagrale and the woman were friends till two years ago when she severed ties with him due to his “irrational behaviour”.

“Nagrale is a married man and has a seven-month-old son. He works in a firm in Balharshah. He used to stalk the woman. He had even tried to commit suicide last year,” a police official said.

The victim’s cousin Shubham Pisudde told PTI that Nagrale had been harassing her for the last many years despite repeated warnings. “Her marriage (engagement) was broken last year due to Nagrale,” she said.