A 13-year-old girl was raped and set afire by her 22-year-old neighbour in Sherpur area here on Wednesday evening. The victim succumbed to her burns at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh on Thursday morning.
The crime was committed when the victim was alone at her house.
The Focal Point police have booked the accused, Sunil Kumar, under sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. Sunil is yet to be nabbed, but the police have arrested his father Harish Gupta, and brothers Lakshman and Anil for criminal conspiracy as they were allegedly involved in setting the victim afire.
The victim’s medical report has confirmed rape. Before the victim was shifted to the PGI, she had recorded her statement with the judicial magistrate at the civil hospital, stating that the accused had been raping her for the past 10 days.
The girl had suffered 90% burns and was rushed to Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, from where she was referred to the PGI.
The victim’s death sparked protests as her family members and area residents blocked the Chandigarh road for nearly two hours by placing the body on it. The blockade was lifted after two hours when the police assured to arrest the accused at the earliest.
Father of the victim said he, along with his wife, had gone to a relative’s place, leaving behind their two daughters, aged about 13 and 8.
He said when his younger daughter had gone out of the house to play, Sunil barged into the house and raped the elder one. He said when his daughter threatened to complain against him, Sunil called his father and two brothers and they together set her afire after pouring kerosene oil.
The victim’s father is a labourer, while the accused used to sell snacks on a rehri in Sherpur.
The victim’s parents accused civil hospital doctors of laxity in treating their daughter on Wednesday night. Alleging that the doctors misbehaved with them, they staged a protest at the civil hospital on Thursday when the body was brought there for the post-mortem. The family also filed a complaint with the senior medical officer.