A youth set fire to his girlfriend after sprinkling kerosene on her body at the girl's rented room in Buddhachowk, Kathmandu.

Police have said that Suraj Shreshta, under the influence of a narcotic drug, tried to kill his girlfriend Pooja Karki, 19, two days ago. The accused had then tried to commit suicide by pouring kerosene and setting himself ablaze. Both Shrestha and Karki are undergoing treatment.

Pooja, who has suffered serious burn injuries in her upper body, is undergoing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of Nepal Cleft and Burn Centre at Kirtipur, her situation is critical. Shrestha has suffered less burn injuries compared to the girl.

Senior Superintendent of Police Ashok Singh at Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, said, "The girl's condition is critical as she is still unconscious and has suffered severe injuries in the upper part of the body, mainly around the forehead and temple area."

Pooja is originally from Solukhumbu, and has been living with a friend at Buddhachowk. The accused Shrestha, who hails from Dolakha, is undergoing treatment at Sankhu-based Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital. The police have said that he has refused to give details of the crime given his weak physical strength.

Without details from both parties, police are having a difficult time ascertaining the reasons behind the criminal act that had taken place inside the room. "Our preliminary investigation shows that the relationship between Shrestha and Karki was not so good for the last couple of months. Shrestha, who used to take money from Karki for drugs, might have set her ablaze under the influence of drugs," said a police officer at Baneshwor Police Circle.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 24, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.