A construction labourer died of burns he suffered when he tried to save a woman set on fire by her friend over a financial row in Tavarekere on the outskirts of the city on Tuesday.

The dead man was identified as Nagaraj (30). According to the police, when he heard the commotion in the adjacent house, he rushed there to find Manjula C. (30), homemaker, stabbed and set on fire by Madhu (50).

When Nagaraj intervened to rescue Manjula, Madhu pushed him into the fire. In the scuffle that ensued, Madhu also suffered burns. Neighbours rushed all three to Victoria Hospital. Nagaraj was declared brought dead.

The Taverekere police initially suspected that mishap was due to a cylinder blast, but later booked a case of murder against Madhu based on the statement of Manjula.

Manjula, her husband Chandra Babu, tailor, and their two children live in Ullal Upanagara in Taverekere police station limits.

The couple had lent Rs. 3 lakh to their family friend, Madhu, steward. As he did not return the money, the couple frequently fought with him. A few days ago, Manjula had gone to Madhu’s house and had a heated argument yet again, said the police.

Enraged Madhu went to Manjula’s house on Tuesday after her husband went to to work and children to school. During the altercation that ensued, Madhu stabbed Manjula before pouring petrol on her and setting her on fire.

Manjula gave the details of the incident to the police, who booked a case of murder and attempt to murder against Madhu based on her statement.

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