A 36-year-old woman committed suicide by setting herself ablaze after a man allegedly assaulted her at her house in Vyasarpadi on Monday. The woman's mother, who tried to rescue her, also suffered burns and died in a hospital on Wednesday.

According police, Mahalingam (39) of Renukamman Koil 1st Street had taken photographs at the wedding of Uma Maheshwaran (32), an automobile design engineer and resident of GKM Colony, Peravallur, in 2010. “Mahalingam took Rs.17,000 for the job but did not give Uma Maheshwaran the photographs as promised. After repeated requests ended in vain, Uma Maheshwaran went to Mahalingam's house on Monday. As Mahalingam was not at home, the suspect got an argument with his wife Revathi (36) and assaulted her,” Mr. Batcha added.

Revathi went to the MKB Nagar police station and complained. She, however, did not lodge a formal complaint.

Heartbroken at being insulted in front of her neighbours, Revathi left for her mother Saraswati's house on the next street. Around 11 p.m. on Monday, Revathi doused herself with kerosene and set herself ablaze. Saraswati tried to put out the flames but also suffered burns.

They were rushed to the Government Kilpauk Medical College hospital by neighbours. Revathi succumbed to burns around 5 a.m. on Tuesday following which Uma Maheshwaran was arrested by Sembium police on charges of abetting suicide.

Saraswati died at the hospital in the early hours on Wednesday.

MKB Nagar police have registered another case against Uma Maheshwaran for assaulting Revathi, after her relatives staged a road roko on BB Road in Perambur on Wednesday afternoon.