Suspecting a neighbourhood girl as the thief who stole Rs. 5,000 from her house, a girl poured kerosene on her and set her on fire at Bareli Town in Raisen district, about 45 kilometres south west of Bhopal.
The alleged aggressor is a class 12 student, aged 18, and the victim is 13. The victim has been referred to Hamidia Hospital, Bhopal for treatment.
According to police, Khushbu Bairagi, 13, a resident of Shakti Nagar Colony, Bareli, had a heated exchange with her neighbour Rupali Vishwakarma, 18, on Monday morning. Khushbu reportedly made some derogatory comments on Rupali's character alleging that she had relations with several men. On the other hand, Rupali accused Khushbu of stealing Rs. 5,000 from her house.
Later, an enraged Rupali came out with a bottle filled with kerosene and barged into the Khushbu's house. Rupali poured entire bottle of kerosene over Khushbu and set her afire. When Khushbu's mother, Meena Bairagi heard her daughter scream for help, she ran to save her and rushed her to hospital.
Meena alleged that Rupali was not alone, when she set her daughter afire. Rupali's mother was also with her.
"I was washing utensils in the backyard of my house when I heard Khushbu shouting. She was calling me to save her from Rupali. I tried to douse the fire and in this attempt I also received burns in my left hand.
Rupali and Khushbu study in same school. According to Khushbu's mother they have had arguments in school also but she never thought that the quarrel between the two girls could lead to such a horrible incident.
According to doctors of Hamidia Hospital, Khushbu has received severe burn injuries and her condition is critical.
Superintendent of police, Raisen Shashikant Shukla said FIR has been lodged against Rupali under section 307 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).