However, the landlady has refuted the charges levelled by victim Kapil Dev's wife. Claiming innocence, she asserted, "The room was bolted from inside."
Police have registered a case after wife Guddi said the incident was not a case of death in an accidental fire.
She said her husband, Kapil Dev, was a tenant for the past 40 years in a single room located on the first floor in south Delhi's Greater Kailash Part-1 area. She added that the landlord wanted him to vacate the premises.
A police officer said, "Kapil Dev's landlady called the fire service Thursday evening after she saw smoke emanating from his room. Three fire tenders rushed to the spot, battled the flames for half-an-hour and recovered the victim's 100 percent burnt body."
The officer added, "Flames had engulfed the room before the fire tenders could reach. All articles in the room were destroyed."
Kapil Dev, son of famous artist K.C. Aryan, ran a business in antique items and was also a book shop owner.
After getting news of her husband's death, Guddi who has been residing with her married daughter in Gurgaon for the past several years, reached the spot. She alleged that the landlord's family set her husband on fire.
Police said a case of causing death due to negligence and negligent conduct with respect to fire was registered.
"The landlord's family is being questioned. Police are probing all angles to ascertain if it was a case of accidental fire or murder," said the officer.
The landlady, not wishing to be named, told IANS that short-circuit could not have caused the fire as power to Kapil Dev's room was disconnected for the past two years because of his failure to pay electricity bill.
"The fire may have started from a lighted stub thrown by Dev who was in the habit of smoking and taking alcohol," she added.
--IANS (Posted on 06-09-2013)