A 15-year-old Dalit girl was driven to suicide after she was gangraped in Sacchakhera village, 7km from Narwana in Haryana's Jind district, on Saturday.
The police have arrested two accomplices of the two rapists, while the victim's father also alleges the role of her uncle, a state police constable whose wife is among those nabbed. All the accused, too, are Dalit in this case.
The incident comes in a series of such heinous crimes against women in the agrarian state brought to disrepute by this ugly face of its largely misogynist rural society, a society led by Khap panchayats that recently suggested lowering the legal marriage age for girls to stop such acts.
According to the statement of the victim, recorded by a magistrate before she died, around 1pm she was passing by the house of Manoj Kumar Valmiki, her father's cousin, when she was dragged inside by a village resident named Pardeep Valmiki.
Pardeep (22) and Navin Valmiki (21) raped her one after the other as another man identified as Sanjeev (20) bolted the room from inside.
"Meenu (Manoj's wife, 30) stood on the terrace to keep a vigil," said the victim's mother, who works as a daily-wager.
The victim's father, a labourer, told HT that she was saved after a passerby noticed something amiss and informed him.
"I rushed to the spot with some villagers, but we could only catch Meenu and Sanjeev."
But that was no retribution for the girl.
"We took her to my elder brother's house, and asked her to rest in a room. But she used kerosene lying there to set herself ablaze," the father said.
"We broke open the door, covered her with a blanket and informed the Narwana police, who arrived and took her to the town's civil hospital in their Gypsy."
Having suffered 90% burns, she was referred to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak, where she succumbed to the injuries around 6.30pm.
Narwana DSP Rameshwar Lamba said a rape case has been registered against Pardeep and Navin, while Meenu and Sanjeev are under arrest for criminal conspiracy.
On the alleged role of constable Manoj Kumar, he said, "We have registered the case as per the victim's statement. If her parents formally name him, we will also probe the role of Manoj, who is posted at Hisar."