A 10-year-old girl who was set afire and thrown into a dry well for resisting rape last week in a Jharkhand village, succumbed to burn injuries here at the Tata Main Hospital (TMH).
Police said she died Monday night.
The victim, a class 4 student, was lured by two unknown youths with sweets and taken to a closed crusher unit near her home in Kandra area in Seriakela-Kharswan district in the morning of December 7. According to the statement of the victim and her mother, the assailants stripped her and tried to rape her. When the girl resisted and shouted for help, they set her afire after pouring kerosene on her, pushed her into a dry well and fled.
The police had raised a sum of about Rs 50,000 to pay for her treatment.
“We are also writing to the government for suitable compensation. Although she was not raped and we will request the government for adequate compensation for attempt to rape and murder now,” the SP said.
The police have filed an FIR under stringent Protection of Children against Sexual Offences POCSO Act in the case.
As per Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF) brought in October 2015, victims of rape and acid attacks are now entitled to get Rs 3 lakh in compensation and if the age of the victims is below 14 years, the compensation amount will be 50% more.
A suspect named Ramashankar Sharma was arrested by the police. But his family members have now claimed that the police mistakenly arrested him and that he was actually trying to save and bring the victim out from the well.
“If they come to me or the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in writing and with some evidence, we will certainly investigate their claim. As of now, the accused has been arrested on the basis of the prima facie report and evidences presented by the investigating officer and search is on to nab the second accused,” Sanjeev Kumar, Seraikela-Kharsawan Superintendent of Police (SP) told HT on Wednesday.
According to the police, the girl, daughter of a daily wage labourer, lived in a rented accommodation for the last two years in Kandra area, with her siblings. The labourer is a native of Bankura district in West Bengal. The minor girl had suffered more than 50% burn injuries when she was taken out of the well and rushed to TMH.
Family members and neighbours of Ramashankar Sharma, however, claimed that police made a mistake in arresting him in a hurry. Sharma’s wife Soni Devi, his father Sawalia Sharma and several neighbours have requested the SP for justice.
“He actually reached the well with bucket and rope to pull the victim out of the well and also helped take her to hospital,” said Soni Devi. Police, however, said Ramashankar has criminal past and came out of jail recently.