Mangaluru: Sabanna Chalavadi (33), hailing from Shiraguppi in Bagalkot district, had married Pushpa of the same village at a mass wedding ceremony over a decade ago.
Seeking employment in the city, they had arrived in Mangaluru and stayed near Shri Ayyappa shrine in Malemar ten years ago. Both of them began earning daily wages soon thereafter.
From the beginning of May 2012, Sabanna began needlessly suspecting Pushpa’s fidelity and started abusing and harassing her every day. He is said to have repeatedly telling her it was better for her to die than live without character.
On May 27, 2012, he took her to task by questioning her as to which person with whom she had to gone to work and asked her to die.
Disgusted with his behaviour, Pushpa, while alone had doused herself in kerosene oil and set herself on fire. Attempts ere made to save her and she was admitted to a hospital with third degree burn injuries. But she breathed her last on June 2.
The Kavoor police had registered a case and filed a charge-sheet against the accused. Although the brother, mother and near relatives who were witnesses turned hostile at the stage of evidence in court, the dying statement recorded by police head constable Shridhar was crucial.
Besides, the doctors who were first treated her testified that she had related the whole story while being in a condition to communicate properly. She had clearly pinpointed her husband as the culprit.
Based on her dying statement and the doctors’ and police evidence, principal district and sessions judge M G Uma had held him guilty. The quantum of punishment is likely to be pronounced on May 11.