A 17-year-old girl from Odisha’s Rayagada district, who had attempted suicide on January 3 following her gang rape, died in a hospital in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday.
The girl, who had set herself on fire and sustained 80% burns, had been on ventilator support since January 13.
“I got the information at 3:45 pm. It is a very sad day for us,” said district collector SS Padhi. Expressing shock over the death, CM Naveen Patnaik said the attackers would be dealt with sternly. Three men have been arrested for the crime.
The orphan girl stayed with her grandmother and worked in a shop in Rayagada, about 500 km from Bhubaneswar. On January 2, while bicycling home from work in the evening, she was accosted by three men who forcibly took her to a nearby forest in a motorcycle and raped her. When her cries for help drew some locals, the attackers fled.
Unable to bear the humiliation, the girl took sleeping pills the same night. But finding herself alive the next morning, she attempted suicide again, this time setting herself on fire.
She was admitted in a local hospital and on January 6, after regaining consciousness, gave a statement to the police, who later arrested the men.
But as her condition worsened, she was shifted to the Care Hospital in Vishakapatnam. The incident triggered widespread resentment, with people blocking roads and college students holding rallies across Rayagada.
The CM has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 10 lakh for the girl’s family.