An investigation has been launched into the death of a 25-year-old woman, Harika Kumar, who was allegedly killed by her husband for failing to secure a seat in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree course.

The woman's husband, Rushi Kumar, and his parents – who are from the south Indian city of Hyderabad – have been arrested, police said.

The incident happened in the LB Nagar's Rock Town Colony. On Sunday (17 September) night, Rushi called Harika's mother and said that her daughter had set herself on fire.

"Harika's husband claims she committed suicide, but after we visited the scene, it appears to be a murder. We suspect that the man killed his wife," Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Venugopala Rao said.

Rao continued saying that whether the man strangled her first before setting her on fire or she actually committed suicide will only be known after an autopsy.

Harika's parents said that their daughter could not commit suicide and accused their software engineer son-in-law of harassing their daughter for dowry.

In their complaint, they told police that Harika was trying to clear the medical entrance exam for some time, but had not been getting success. She, however, allegedly got selected for Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course, but her husband was not satisfied with it and threatened to divorce her if she did not get admission in MBBS.

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Rushi Kumar and his parents, who are from the south Indian city of Hyderabad, have been arrested - Representational image Nacho Doce/Reuters

"Harika and Rushi got married two years ago. He had been harassing her as she didn't get an MBBS seat. She got (admission in) BDS this year. He also harassed her for dowry... It is a planned murder," Harika's mother was quoted as saying by NDTV.