Bangalore: In a strange twist in the October 16 Gulbarga station train fire incident, railway police has claimed that the blaze was caused by a couple who set themselves on fire in the train toilet. "The fire in the sixth bogie of the Falaknuma passenger train on October 16 was caused by two lovers immolating themselves in the toilet during its halt at Gulbarga station," Deputy Inspector General of Police (Railways) Srikantappa told reporters in Bangalore.
He said the man had been identified as an auto driver and the woman, a first year college student. Their plan to marry was opposed by her parents and they had beaten her up about 20 days ago, he said. "Sharanappa and Varsha, who used to meet every day at the station, decided to commit suicide. He bought two litres of petrol from a bunk after which they locked themselves inside the toilet and set themselves ablaze," Srikantappa said. He said Sharanappa's friend, an eyewitness to the incident had revealed it to Railway police during questioning.
The mishap occurred when a bogie of the Solapur-bound passenger train from Hyderabad caught fire during its halt at the station in Gulbarga. There were over 15 passengers in the bogie of the Falaknuma Passenger after it arrived at the station at 12:30 PM and caught fire, but six jumped to safety. Some of the passengers were headed for Tuljapur in Maharashtra to attend the Bhavani festival which takes place during Navaratri.