Jilted 31-year-old stalker sets Uttarakhand teen on fire
An 18-year-old girl was set on fire by a 31-year-old man for turning down his repeated love proposals near Kotdwar road, about eight kilometre from district headquarters of Pauri Garhwal on Sunday, police said.
According to senior superintendent of police Pauri Garhwal, Jagat Ram Joshi, the accused, identified as Manoj Singh, is married and a driver by profession while the girl is a student of B.Sc second year in a college located in the town.
The girl sustained about 80% burn injuries and is undergoing treatment in AIIMS Rishikesh where she is said to be critical. The accused was arrested on Sunday evening, police said.
“The incident took place on Sunday evening at 8pm when the girl was on her way back home from college in her two-wheeler. The accused, intercepted and forced her to stop. He expressed his love to which the girl refused straightaway saying she did not want to talk to him. Furious at her reply, Singh poured petrol on her from a can that he was carrying, set her on fire and fled,” Joshi said.
He added, “After sometime, a passerby found her crying in pain and informed the police who reached the spot and rushed her to a nearby hospital from where she was later shifted to AIIMS Rishikesh considering her serious injuries.”
In the initial investigation it seems that the accused kept harassing the girl despite her repeated refusals, Joshi said, adding that it seems that he committed the heinous act as per planning.
“At the hospital, the victim told police that accused Singh had been stalking her over the last few days and wanted to talk to her, which she refused repeatedly. Singh is married but does not have any child. Both of them lived in two separate villages at a distance of about 150-200 m. The accused was arrested from his village on Sunday evening,” Joshi said.
“Though the initial action was taken by the city police, further investigation is being carried out by the revenue police as the incident falls under its jurisdiction. A case has been registered against the accused for molestation and attempt to murder,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, about 70-80 college students, including the victim’s classmates, gathered at the district collectorate, demanding the administration to hang the accused as soon as possible.
National Students Union of India (NSUI) district president, Gaurav Sagar said, “We have gathered here since 10am irrespective of the any political organisation. We are here as students and demand harshest of punishments for the accused for his unpardonable act.”
He added, “In the afternoon, additional district magistrate, Ramji Sharan Sharma met and assured us that the administration is taking full care of the victim’s treatment and stringent action will be taken against the accused. He has asked us to meet on Tuesday at 11am.”