Gujarat woman torched by neighbor over puppy’s name

A woman was seriously injured after being set on fire by a neighbor angry at the similarity between her puppy’s name and the wife’s nickname of one of the attackers in Gujarat, police said on Tuesday.

The incident took place in Palitana town, Bhavnagar district, on Monday afternoon.

The victim, Neetaben Sarvaiya (35), suffered severe burns. She is currently undergoing treatment at the government hospital in Bhavnagar, an official from the Palitana town police station said.

Sarvaiya was at home with her youngest son at the time of the incident. Her husband and two children were out, he said.

Sarvaiya’s neighbor, Surabhai Bharwad, and five other people broke into his house on Monday afternoon. They objected to Sarvaiya calling her puppy “Sonu,” which is Bharwad’s wife’s nickname, according to FIR.

Bharwad accused Sarvaiya of deliberately naming the puppy after his wife, police said.

In her statement to the police, Sarvaiya said that Bharwad mistreated her but tried to avoid him and others. When she entered the kitchen, three people followed her. One of them poured kerosene from the container on Sarvaiya and set it on fire by lighting a match, police said. Sarvaiya sounded the alarm, hearing neighbors rushing to her house. At the same time, her husband also arrived.

They put out the flames using her husband’s coat. The woman suffered severe burns, the official said.

According to police, families of Sarvaiya and her attackers have argued in the past over the issue of water supply. However, this case was settled out of court.

Police registered an FIR against six people under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for attempted murder, trespassing into a home, insulting etc. No one has been arrested so far, police said.

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