A Class 12 girl of a Madhya Pradesh village set herself afire after an alleged sexual harassment by a village up-sarpanch, the police said on Tuesday.
The girl has been admitted to a private hospital in Hoshangabad with 90% burns and a case lodged against village up-sarpanch Mukesh Kahar, Babai police station town inspector HC Panchal said.
However, Kahar has been absconding ever since the case was lodged against him, he said.
The incident took place on Sunday night at Talkeshari village of Hoshangabad district, about 70 kilometres from Bhopal.
The police said the girl, whose marriage was fixed the next month, alleged in her statement to the police that Kahar had been sexually harassing her for about one and half years and forcing her to marry him.
He threatened her family with dire consequences if she was married to somebody else.
Talking to media persons, the victim’s father, who works as labourer, said, “On Sunday night, he (Kahar) came to my home and started abusing us. He also threatened us with dire consequences if we married her to someone else.”
The incident upset the girl so much so that she locked herself in a room, poured kerosene over her body and set herself afire.
Hearing her screams, the family members, who were sitting outside the home, entered the room after breaking the door and doused the fire.
They later rushed her to a private hospital, where her condition is reported to be critical.
The girl’s father also alleged that his daughter had stopped going to school as Kahar used to stalk her whenever she went to school.
“She appeared as a private student in Class 12 examination as she had no option but to stay at home to avoid Kahar. We didn’t report the matter to the police because of social infamy,” the father said.
Town inspector HC Panchal said, “We have carried out searches at several places but he (Kahar) was not found. The search is on and we will nab him soon.”
January 3, 2014: A teenaged girl hangs self in Bhind district after she was sexually harassed
March 15, 2014: Fed up of sexual harassment, a 13-year-old girl sets herself on fire in Satna district
September 5, 2014: Upset over sexual harassment by her senior, a 25-year-old Central Industrial Security Force constable shot herself by her service revolver. Later, she survived
September 14, 2013: A 17-year-old girl sets self ablaze after sexual harassment in Vidisha, later dies of burn injuries.