Angered by husband’s ultimatum to choose between the family and her addiction to gutka and paan, the mother-of-two set herself ablaze
Tobacco kills. This statutory warning is ignored by tobacco users, but an incident in the City has proved that cancer is not the only way life can be snuffed out by this intoxicant.
A 28-year-old housewife, B Lavanya, addicted to gutkha and paan, immolated herself after her husband B Srinivas Chary chided her for not mending her ways.
Uppal SI and investigating officer M Vittal Rao shed light on the sequence of events. Srinivas, a native of Kulkacharla in Ranga Reddy district, married Lavanya, a resident of Masab Tank, 11 years ago. The couple has two children, four-year-old daughter Srija and two-year-old son Saikumar.
After marriage the couple shifted to Viveknagar, as Srinivas was working in jewellery showroom in Abids. Within a year Lavanya picked up the habit of chewing gutka and paan and became an addict.
This deeply upset Srinivas, as he never used any such intoxicants and would chide Lavanya for her bad habits. The couple used to quarrel often on this issue.
Apart from worrying about her health, Srinivas was angry that Lavanya, instead of being the role model that she should be, consumed these products in the presence of their children.
Their disagreement reached a peak and Srinivas along with the children moved to his parents’ house. “However, instead of leaving the bad habits, she chose to leave this world,” says Vittal Rao, explaining her extreme step.
Lavanya poured kerosene on her body and set herself ablaze. The neighbours took her to Gandhi Hospital, where she was treated for severe burns. Before succumbing to her injuries on May 22, she told in her dying declaration that it was the stranglehold of gutka and paan that led to this situation.
Vittal Rao said the police has booked a case of suspicious death based on the complaint of the victim’s mother Ch Geethama but said they have not found anything that would implicate the husband so far.
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I have been working as a crime reporter in Hyderabad for the past 17 years. I was encouraged to be a journalist by my late father. As a journalist I try to do something unique for society, especially the poor who suffer the most.