A 16-year-old girl, who had been allegedly gang-raped in October, set herself on fire late on Monday evening in a Kolkata suburb to escape repeated taunts by the accused.
The girl, a resident of Madhyamgram, 15 km north of Kolkata, is battling for life at the RG Kar Hospital. Six to seven men had allegedly raped her on October 26 in a house a few metres away from her residence.
“The girl has suffered 40-50% burns. It is not possible to say right now whether she will survive,” said Dibyendu Gautam, superintendent of RG Kar Hospital.
Family members of the victim alleged the accused and their associates were repeatedly threatening them to withdraw the police complaint and often used to taunt the girl. The girl attempted suicide as she no longer could bear the humiliation, they said.
After getting the complaint of rape, the police have arrested three of the accused.
The girl's family had shifted from Madhyamgram after the alleged rape and had been residing near airport gate number one.
None has been arrested so far for threatening the girl, which provoked her to attempt suicide.
The Paschimbanga Ganatantrik Mahila Samiti, the women’s wing of the CPI(M), held a candle-light vigil in front of RG Kar Hospital on Tuesday evening, protesting the incident and demanding speedy arrest of the culprits.
The victim’s family had come to Bengal from their ancestral home in Bihar in July 2013. On the ill-fated day, the 16-year-old was helping her mother in household chores, when a young man called her out on the pretext that her father had sent for her from a nearby tea stall. She had met this man a few days ago but did not know his name.
The girl later told police in her complaint that she went out and started walking with the man towards the tea stall, about 200 yards from her home. Barely a few steps later, five-six young men took her to a house in the locality where they allegedly raped her.
The parents scoured the neighbourhood throughout the night and found her unconscious in a nearby field – where the alleged rapists had dumped her – a day later.