Man set ablaze by moneylenders dies, 1 held

While one of the accused has been arrested, police are on the lookout for the other.

A 19-year-old casual labourer succumbed after he was allegedly set ablaze by two money lenders in Palitana town of Bhavnagar district, police said Sunday. While one of the accused has been arrested, police are on the lookout for the other.

Mehbubsha Pathan (19) was allegedly set ablaze by Lalabhai Kotila and Mahipatbhai Kotila near TK Nagar in Palitana town on Friday night after the former failed to return Rs 60,000 the duo had lent him, police said. Pathan was first rushed to a hospital in Palitana town and was later referred to Sir Takhtasinhji General Hospital in Bhavnagar but he succumbed Saturday evening.

“We have registered an offence and arrested Lalabhai. However, Mahipatbhai is on the run,” NM Chaudhary, police inspector of Palitana said.

In a dying declaration before the police, Pathan claimed Lalabhai had given him Rs 100 to purchase petrol, a bidi and a matchbox Friday after he expressed inability to repay the money. The two accused had asked the victim to meet them near Dr Trivedi’s hospital on Bhavnagar road, but intercepted him near TK Nagar and set him ablaze, police said.

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