In another case of honour killing, a 17-year-old girl was burnt alive by her mother, who also set herself afire, over the girl's plans to marry her Dalit boyfriend.

According to sources, the 17-year-old girl was a native of Vazhamanagalam village in Nagapattinam district. She was reportedly in love with a 21-year-old youth who belonged to a caste considered to be 'lower'.

The victim's lover has been identified as one Rajkumar, hailing from the same village. Knowing that the girl's family was bitterly opposed to the relationship, the couple had decided to tie the knot immediately after the girl turned 18. The girl - a class 11 student - was to turn 18 this Sunday and the couple had plans to get married at a local temple on Monday. Rajkumar had even arranged for a hostel for the girl in Mayiladuthurai, with the help of an advocate friend, as he feared there would be backlash from the girl's family.

Sources said that the girl's family knew of the relationship in a vague way. They had been dead against the relationship and had been planning to get the girl married to a man of their caste. The girl's mother Uma Maheshwari, suspecting that the girl was making plans to elope, reportedly argued with her on Monday night. On Tuesday night, the lady poured kerosene on the girl as she was asleep on the bed and set her afire. Uma Maheshwari then allegedly immolated herself.

The screams of the daughter and mother brought the neighbours running. Both were rushed to the government hospital in Nagapattinam, where the girl was declared brought dead. Uma Maheshwari, who suffered 80% burns, is under treatment there. Inquiries are on.