The condition of 25-year Basanti Sada, of Surunga-3, Laxmipur in Saptari is critical as she is battling for life while receiving treatment in Kathmandu for severe burn injuries meted out by her husband.
Basanti was set on fire by her husband after she asked him to stay in a quarantine facility upon his return from India. She was brought to Kathmandu on Saturday after her treatment was not possible in Lahan.
Her husband Dipen Sada, 29, had returned home from Punjab, India on July 19 and Basanti had asked him to stay in quarantine. The next morning, however, Dipen sprinkled kerosene on Basanti’s body and tried to burn her saying that she had insulted him by making such a request.
Basanti’s mother, Sonawati, said that Dipen set fire her daughter on fire on the morning of July 20. “Basanti ran for her life after he poured kerosene on her body. But he chased her and set her on fire,” said Sonawati.
Health condition of the 25-year-old survivor, who was staying home after getting treatment at the Lahan-based Ram Kumar Umaprasad Memorial Hospital, has worsened with time.
After the hospitals in Lahan and Biratnagar were not able to treat her, Surunga Municipality sent her to the Nepal Cleft and Burn Center in Kirtipur in an ambulance on Saturday.
She has sustained severe burn injuries in parts below her neck and above her waist. She was admitted to the Ram Kumar Umaprasad Memorial Hospital in Lahan on the day of incident and was taken to Biratnagar-based Nobel Hospital on July 21 for further treatment.
However, Nobel Hospital refused to admit her citing COVID-19 risks and so she was returned to her home in Saptari.
She was later admitted to the Gajendra Narayan Singh Sagarmatha Hospital in Rajbiraj on July 23 after her health condition became critical. “Her condition was improving but the hospital sent her home citing the risk of coronavirus,” Sonawati said.
She was kept at home after being discharged from the hospital on August 9.
After her condition started deteriorating further, she was again admitted to Ram Kumar Umaprasad Memorial Hospital in Lahan on August 26. Medical superintendent at the hospital, Dr Sunil Kuswaha, said, “We provided her the treatment as per our best capacities. But since her health did not seem to improve and we don’t have additional resources at the hospital, we referred her to the Kirtipur-based hospital.”
Kuswaha said that 55 to 60 percent of Basanti’s body was burnt.
Meanwhile, Sonawati lamented about the lack of funds to support her daughter’s treatment. Surunga Municipality had collected Rs 65,000 from various social organizations to send them to Kathmandu in an ambulance.
Sonawati said that even though the municipality helped her get to the hospital, she doesn’t have money for her daughter’s treatment in Kathmandu.
In the meantime, police have remanded Dipen in custody on the charge attempt to murder. Inspector Ram Raja Keshari of Kadarbona Area Police Office said that he was remanded to judicial custody on Thursday following the district court’s order.
Inspector Keshari said that Dipen was arrested and is under-investigation on the basis of a complaint filed by Basanti’s father.
Though the locals and relatives of the accused insisted that Basanti had set herself on fire, police investigation revealed Dipen as the perpetrator and he has also admitted to the crime, informed Inspector Keshari.