Nagpur: A 25-year-old woman teaching at a college in Maharashtra's Wardha district was set ablaze by a stalker on Monday morning, police said.
The victim, Ankita Pisudde, a resident of Daroda village in Wardha, suffered 40 per cent burns and inhalation injuries and has been admitted to a hospital in Nagpur where she is battling for life, he said.
The accused, Vikesh Nagrale (27), who was the victim's friend till two years back before she severed ties with him, has been arrested, the official said.
The incident took place around 7.15 am when the woman alighted from a state transport bus in Hingnaghat town of Wardha, located about 75 km from here, to get to the college.
At that time, Nagrale came up to her, doused her with petrol that he took out from his two-wheeler, and set her ablaze before running away from the spot, Hingnaghat police station inspector Satyaveer Bandiwar said.
"Some passers-by poured water on the woman and rushed her to a nearby primary health centre from where she was shifted to Orange City Hospital in Nagpur. She has suffered 40 per cent burns," the official said.
The hospital authorities later released a bulletin, stating that the woman suffered "grade II deep dermal burns covering scalp, face, right upper limb, left hand, upper back, full neck with approximation of 40 per cent burns with inhalation injuries affecting respiratory system also."
Nagrale, who fled the scene of crime, was nabbed from Takalghat village and charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means, Wardha Superintendent of Police Basavaraj Teli said.
The accused was a friend of the victim till two years ago, but she broke ties with him due to his "irrational behaviour", Bandiwar said.
"Nagrale, also from Daroda village, is a married man and has a seven-month-old son. He works at a firm in Balharshah. He used to stalk the woman. He had even tried to commit suicide last year, though no complaint was lodged at that time," the official said.