Woman burned during domestic squabble

Stabroek News
April 2, 2000

A 29-year-old, mother of one of Owen Street, Kitty, is in a critical condition at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital after being burned extensively during a domestic squabble.

The injured woman, Devi Ramlall, 29, who is employed at the Indian Cultural Centre, is in a serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, relatives say. A man is also in the same hospital nursing burns to his hands.

According to Ramlall's sister, 13-year-old Kavita, the incident stemmed from quarrel. Recalling the episode, Kavita said that at about 1830 hrs, Ramlall went home and had an argument with the man. He reportedly hit her several times and, in anger, the woman picked up a bottle filled with kerosene and doused herself. The man then reportedly took a pointer broom (made from the stems of the coconut palm), lit it and set the woman ablaze.

According to Kavita, Devi ran out to the veranda with her entire body engulfed in flames causing neighbours, who were attracted by the screams to rush across. The man, on seeing persons in the yard, threw some water on the woman. She was wrapped in sheets and taken to the hospital by a neighbour. Another neighbour said he was standing by his platform when he saw Devi, her body engulfed in flames, on her veranda. He told this newspaper that at first he thought that the house was on fire.

Sunita another sister who lives in a downstairs apartment said she had heard the quarrelling, but did not think it serious until she saw her sister on fire.

Relatives told Stabroek News that the police were notified but up to 1300 hrs yesterday no police had visited the scene.

On Wednesday night, another woman was burned after she had a quarrel with a man over money. The woman, whose name was given only as Savitri of Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, was reportedly set alight by a man after she refused to hand over some US currency to him. Savitri is currently a patient of the Georgetown Hospital.