A 17-year-old rag-picker, who was allegedly set on fire by three persons suspecting him to be a vehicle battery thief, succumbed to injuries today in a hospital here.

The victim, Sawan Rathod, who lived on a city footpath, had been hospitalised on Wednesday after he sustained severe burns when the accused, suspecting his involvement in stealing vehicle batteries in Kasaba Peth area, poured petrol on him and set him afire, police said.

The boy, who had suffered 75 per cent burn injuries, died this morning, hospital sources said.

Police have arrested the three accused — Ibrahim Shaikh, Imran Tamboli and Zuber Tamboli — in connection with the incident and booked them under section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC.

The trio allegedly took out petrol from a two-wheeler in a narrow lane and set Sawan on fire after beating him up, accusing him of stealing batteries of vehicles parked on the street.

They later dumped him at an isolated spot on a river bank.

The victim was noticed by other rag-pickers who reported the crime to police.