A jilted lover allegedly sexually abused and set a 15-year-old girl on fire after being rejected by her at Kharinasi village in Kendrapara district of Odisha.
The victim, a Class VIII student of a nearby government school, is battling for life at SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack while the police arrested one of the two accused youths, about 20-years old.
The youth, accompanied by an accomplice, allegedly set her on fire on Sunday after pouring petrol over her. The victim has sustained more than 50% burns and her condition was critical, said medical college emergency officer B Moharana.
Meanwhile, police arrested Paradip Das (20) from the port town of Paradip while the other offender Ekadashi Das was absconding, police said.
Kendrapara superintendent of police, Sarthak Sadangi said "the incident is being thoroughly investigated as the FIR lodged in this connection alleged that the victim was sexually abused".
A team of police officials have rushed to SCB Medical College and Hospital to record statement of the victim who is undergoing treatment. The police was waiting for the medical report and victim's statement to confirm the sexual abuse angle of the crime, the SP said.
Expressing anguish over the incident, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the police to take immediate steps to arrest the culprits. Patnaik also announced that the victim's medical expenses would be borne by the state government.
Meanwhile, district administration disbursed Rs 20,000 financial assistance to the victim's family from Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
A tribal college student was attacked in a similar instance of one-sided love affair recently in Kendrapara township.