Days after Unnao case, another UP woman’s kin claim she was raped, set afire
Fatehpur district magistrate Sanjeev Singh said an FIR has been lodged for rape (section 376 of the Indian Penal Code) and attempt to murder (section 307) against the 24-year-old accused, who is on the run, based on a complaint by the victim’s brotherUpdated: Dec 15, 2019 01:49 IST
20-year-old woman’s family has alleged she was raped and set ablaze by her neighbour in Fatehpur district on Saturday, according to police officials who said the victim is in a critical condition with 95% burn injuries.
Fatehpur district magistrate Sanjeev Singh said an FIR has been lodged for rape (section 376 of the Indian Penal Code) and attempt to murder (section 307) against the 24-year-old accused, who is on the run, based on a complaint by the victim’s brother. The incident took place in a village under the district’s Hussainganj police station area.
Initial investigation hasn’t ruled out the possibility of suicide attempt by the woman, said the DM.
“The accused and the victim were in a relationship for the last two years but since the two were also distant relatives, the woman’s family members were not approving of their marriage. On Saturday morning, a panchayat was held near the woman’s house where the accused was asked to leave the village. At this, the woman left the gathering and before the panchayat could disperse, the villagers heard her screams and saw smoke coming out of her house,” Singh said.
“All those present at the panchayat have given this sequence of events in writing,” the DM said.
The incident comes close on the heels of the Unnao gang rape case, where a victim was allegedly set on fire by five suspects earlier this month. The woman later died at a hospital in Delhi.
Fatehpur’s superintendent of police (SP) Prashant Verma, quoting the complaint by the victim’s brother, said the accused, a next-door neighbour, barged into her house on Saturday morning and raped her. “When she threatened to complain to her family members and police, the accused brought kerosene from his house, poured it on her and set her on fire,” according to the complaint.
Verma said police teams were looking for the absconding accused.
The woman was rescued by her neighbours who used gunny bags to douse the fire. She was first taken to the district hospital from where she was referred to LLR Hospital in Kanpur.
Dr Naresh Vishal, who attended to her at the district hospital, said, “She received burn injuries on her entire body, Only her feet were not burnt. Her condition is extremely critical.”
Police said the woman was heard pleading with the naib tehsildar, who recorded her statement at the district hospital, to save her. “She kept saying ‘Save me, save me, I do not want to die’. Her brother was by her side and was seen trying to console her as other family members outside the ward were wailing over her condition,” an official said.
The family members of the accused are also missing from the village and their house was found locked, police said.
“Police have also conducted raids at houses of some relatives in adjoining villages but to no result,” an official added.
A number of rape cases have been reported from Uttar Pradesh in recent months, putting the law and order of the state government in a spotlight.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, quoting a new report about the Fatehpur incident, tweeted on Saturday: “The BJP government of UP has become shameless. They cannot maintain law and order.”
Last week, a woman was attacked with acid in Muzaffarnagar after she refused to withdraw her complaint of rape against four men.