Kolkata: A 35-year-old man who allegedly raped and set a woman on fire died of burn injuries after his victim grabbed him while still ablaze in West Bengal’s Malda district, said police on Tuesday. The woman is currently receiving treatment at the Malda Medical College and Hospital. She sustained burn injuries on her face and hands, stated officials.

Upon interrogation, the woman told the police that the accused reached her house on Monday evening when she was alone. The man then allegedly raped the woman, who is a widow, before setting her on fire. The woman, however, grabbed him tightly while she was still on fire.

When locals noticed smoke coming from the house, they rushed to the spot, said police. A jar of kerosene was also found in the room, officials said. Soon after the incident, both the man and the woman were taken to a local hospital from where they were referred to the Malda Medical College and Hospital. Police added that the man succumbed to his burns on Tuesday morning.

The woman lived at Subhas Colony under Manikchak police station limits. She has three daughters and her eldest daughter is married and lives elsewhere.

The residence of the accused is in Chanchal, which is 35 km away from Subhas Colony where the woman lives. Locals claimed that the accused often visited the house of the woman. Police are yet to find the reason behind the visit. District Superintendent of Police Arnab Ghosh reportedly said, “We are investigating the case from all angles.”

(With Agency inputs)