A 10-year-old girl was battling for life after she was set on fire by a group of men and thrown into a dried well for resisting rape in a Jharkhand village, police said on Thursday.
Police have registered attempt to rape and murder charges against two men who are missing and have detained five suspects for questioning.
The Class 4 girl, whose father is a daily-wager, was playing outside her home in Seraikela-Kharsawan district’s Kandra village on Wednesday morning when two men tried to lure her with sweets.
When she refused, they picked her up and took her to a stone-crushing unit in the village, police said. They stripped her and tried to rape her but she resisted. She tried to escape but the men caught her. They poured kerosene on her back, set her on fire and threw her in an abandoned well, the girl, who is in a hospital, told police.
Badly burnt, she kept crying for help. Her cries were heard by a woman who was passing by. Locals pulled the girl out and informed her parents and police.
She was rushed to a nearby nursing home but was referred to the advanced Tata Main Hospital.
Her daughter was in a critical condition and needed prayers as well as money for treatment, the mother said. The child, she said, left the house in the morning without telling anyone. When she didn’t return for around half an hour, they launched a hunt. It was a neighbour who told the family about the girl being found in the well, she said.
The girl told police she didn’t know the names of the men but could identify them.
The men who were detained were not locals, Kandra police station in-charge Arvind Kumar Singh said. The girl’s family moved to Kandra from West Bengal two years ago and they were investigating if an acquaintance was involved in the assault, Singh said.