Suspecting a 13-year-old girl in the neighbourhood of having stolen Rs. 5,000 from her house, an 18-year-old girl student of class 12 poured kerosene on the younger girl and set her on fire in Bareli town of Raisen district, 45 km from Bhopal on Monday.
Doctors at Bhopal's Hamidia Hospital, where the victim was admitted, said she is in a critical condition with severe burns.
The police said Khushbu Bairagi, 13, a resident of Shakti Nagar Colony in Bareli had a heated argument with her neighbor Rupali Vishwakarma, 18. Khushbu reportedly alleged that Rupali had intimate relations with several men.
Rupali, however, accused Khushbu of stealing Rs. 5,000 from her house and barged into her house with a bottle of kerosene and set her on fire.
"I was washing utensils in the backyard of my house when I heard Khushbu scream for help. I tried to douse the fire and burnt my left hand," said Khushbu's mother Meena Bairagi.