Chennai: College girl set on fire by Facebook friend

Chennai: Friendship through social networking proved to be near fatal for a 23-year-old city college student who was burnt alive by a Facebook acquaintance near Panruti in Cuddalore district last Saturday.

The duo got married at a temple in Panruti and decided to commit suicide as the man suggested it would be difficult for them to lead a life together.

However, after setting the woman on fire, he fled the scene, police said. Timely intervention by a villager saved the woman’s life after he spotted the woman with burns in a grove and moved her to a hospital, Cuddalore superintendent of police (SP) Vijaya Kumar told DC.

The woman, still recovering from her burns, was sent back home with her parents on Monday. Preliminary investigations revealed that Shobana (name changed) had left home in Kolathur on June 29 at the behest of the accused, now identified as Narayanan of Salem.

Narayanan and the woman, a second year college student became friends on Facebook less than a year ago.The relationship, though virtual, grew intimate over time.

“Luring the woman in the pretext of marriage, Narayanan asked her to meet him at Tambaram in Chennai last Thursday (June 29),” an investigating official said.

The duo had then set off in a car to Madurai, Thanjavur and was supposed to leave to start a life in Bengaluru before the accused had a change of mind.

He told the woman that they would return to Chennai. On July 1 (Saturday), they were returning to the city when they got married at a highway temple near Panruti.  

The duo drove to a secluded casuarina grove at Kananchavadi village here where Narayanan doused diesel over the woman and set her on fire. He then fled in his car leaving the woman to die. A passer-by who noticed the woman with burns  rushed her to the hospital.  Kadampuliyur police initiated investigations.

“The accused has been identified.  Our team will arrest him by Tuesdaynight,” Vijayakumar said. The SP also honoured the villager Chandrasekar  for helping the woman in time.

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