Sixteen-year-old Rukhsana may have to pay with her life for rejecting the overtures of two youths in Chhatarpur district, 345 km from Bhopal on Friday.
The taxi-driver’s daughter is battling to survive 80 per cent burns at a local hospital after the youths sprinkled her with kerosene in her house and set her on fire.
Her family members said two men — Rajesh and Brijesh — had been troubling her for the past two months. Two days ago, when they called her on their friend Nissar’s mobile phone, Rukhsana scolded them and told them she would tell the police that they were making indecent overtures to her.
Apparently angered by Rukhsana’s reaction, the duo, aided by two of their friends, forcibly entered her house in the morning when she was cooking. They first tried to strangle her but when she resisted, they set her on fire.
Rukhsana’s mother, who was in the house, could do nothing to prevent the attack. Her father was out to earn their living.
Her family members said the four youths had brought kerosene and matchboxes. A doctor attending on Rukhsana said that her condition was “critical”.
Around 9 am, residents in the locality heard heart-rending cries and saw flames coming out of their house.
The family’s neighbours saw the youths running out of Rukhsana’s house but could not catch them. Some identified them as residents of the same locality.
Rukhsana was first taken to City Kotwali police station by her mother and neighbours. But considering the delay in registering the FIR, her family decided to take her to the government hospital.
The victim narrated the sequence of events to the local police and her parents in the hospital, said a police official who did not want to be identified.
“Her statement has been recorded and efforts are on to arrest the accused,” Additional Superintendent of Police Anil Mishra told Hindustan Times. He however refused to disclose the contents of her statement.