They suspect the two immolated themselves; investigation is still on

The Railway Police have identified the two persons who died in the fire in the Faluknama Passenger on October 16 as Sharanappa B. Shahabadi, who was in his twenties, and Varsha Shankar Mahurkar (17).

DNA testing

Tissue samples of the victims’ parents will be sent for DNA testing to confirm the identity of the victims.

Sources in the Railway Police said here on Sunday that the two might have committed suicide by pouring petrol on themselves and setting themselves ablaze.

While Sharanappa, a resident of Vishal Nagar here, drove a goods autorickshaw, Varsha, who lived with her parents in Panchasheel Nagar, was a student at the Government Pre-University College for Girls.

The couple had been in a relationship for more than a year and their parents were aware of this.

According to the preliminary investigation, while Sharanappa’s family was opposed to the couple marrying, Varsha’s family reportedly asked her to wait till she completed her education.

The police have recovered call details from the mobile phones of the two.

Incidentally, Varsha’s phone was given to her by Sharanappa.

The families of the two told the police that the charred bodies found in the bogey were those of their children. The police also recovered pieces of a pair of jeans and burnt jewellery from the place where the bodies were found.

Varsha was last seen inside the train wearing jeans and a shirt.

Auto recovered

Sources said that the first breakthrough in the case was the recovery of Sharanappa’s autorickshaw, which was abandoned outside the railway station.

A tea vendor, Ansar, who was a neighbour of Sharanappa, on being questioned, reportedly told the police that he had seen Sharanappa with a girl inside the compartment minutes before the fire. Sharanappa had given Rs. 1,000 to Ansar and asked him to give Rs. 500 to his brother Sunil Shahabadi and keep the remaining amount.

Even as Ansar was coming out of the railway station, he saw the fire engulfing the compartment where his friend was sitting.

He immediately telephoned Sunil and told him about the fire. It is not known whether Sunil came to the railway station.

Sources said that the Railway Police were continuing the investigation and had not come to the conclusion that this was a case of suicide.

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