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Vimukta Sharma, the Principal of BM Pharmacy College, passed away on February 25, 2023, after succumbing to burn injuries sustained when a former student, Ashutosh Shrivastava, allegedly poured petrol on her and set her on fire. The incident occurred on February 20, 2023, in the Simrol area of Madhya Pradesh, India, and was reportedly due to a delay in the student receiving his B.Pharma marksheet.
Details of the Incident
According to the police, Ashutosh Shrivastava (24) had been demanding his B.Pharma marksheet from the college authorities for several weeks. On February 20, when Vimukta Sharma (54) refused to comply with his demands, he allegedly poured petrol on her and set her on fire. The principal sustained over 90% burn injuries and her colleagues immediately rushed her to a nearby hospital. Later, she was referred to Choitram Hospital, where she eventually passed away on February 25 at around 4 am.
Police Investigation and Action
Following the incident, the police suspended a sub-inspector in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, for alleged negligence of duty in connection with the case. The Indore administration also initiated National Security Act (NSA) proceedings against Ashutosh Shrivastava. During the police investigation, the pharmacy college authorities, the woman principal, and other staff members revealed that they had made two to three complaints against Shrivastava, alleging that the accused had been threatening suicide. Superintendent of Police (Rural) Bhagwat Singh Virde said that the police had to take the accused to the shop from where he bought the bucket used to carry the petrol.
Previous Incidents involving the Accused
The accused, Ashutosh Shrivastava, had been involved in previous incidents on the college campus. He had reportedly stabbed a college professor in the past and had created a ruckus on several occasions. Additionally, he had sent threatening messages to the college principal on several occasions before the incident. Family members and staff of the BM college have alleged that police inaction contributed to the tragedy, as they had made several complaints against the accused in the past, but no action was taken.
The community has been shocked and saddened by the tragic incident of the college principal being set on fire. The college authorities have offered their condolences and announced their cooperation with the police investigation to ensure that justice is served. The incident has also raised questions about the safety and security of college staff and students and the need for better measures to prevent such incidents in the future.