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Home / India News / Set on fire, UP gangrape survivor ran a kilometre seeking help

Set on fire, UP gangrape survivor ran a kilometre seeking help

She had to spend several minutes convincing the guard of a gas godown Ravindra Prakash Singh that she was not a witch.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2019 21:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
The Unnao rape survivor being taken to New Delhi for intensive treatment on Thursday.
The Unnao rape survivor being taken to New Delhi for intensive treatment on Thursday. (HT PHOTO.)
         

The Unnao rape survivor ran for almost a kilometre covered in flames on the stretch from Gaura town to the railway station in Unnao, shouting for help but the villagers branded her a witch on seeing her burnt skin.

She had to spend several minutes convincing the guard of a gas godown Ravindra Prakash Singh that she was not a witch.

“I was preparing fodder for my cattle when I heard faint screams coming from the direction of the road,” Singh said. “As she came nearer, I began shaking with fear, thinking she was a witch,” he added.

The woman pleaded with Singh to come forward and help her. “Mujhe bacha lo, meri madad karo, (Please save me, help me) she constantly repeated clutching a small purse in one hand and a cell phone in the other,” Singh said.

“They have tried to kill me, please help,” she told Singh, while disclosing the name of her father to him as well.

“I could see her body in flames...she must have covered a kilometre to get help,” he elaborated.

Singh said he doused the flames and immediately called the state’s emergency management services for help.

The woman insisted on speaking to the operator to whom she narrated the entire incident. “I put the phone closer to her face so that she could speak to the person on the other side,” he said.

Singh’s wife Sita Devi said she also came out when she heard the woman’s screams for help. “I turned numb on seeing her condition. I just heard her pleas for help and nothing thereafter,” she said.

The Unnao rape survivor was on her way to the court in connection with the rape case when she was attacked.

In her statement to the police, she said the men first hit her on the head and attacked her with a knife on the neck. As she slumped, they poured petrol and set her on fire.

Some people who were nearby came to her rescue. The accused escaped soon after.

Vikrant Veer, the Unnao Superintendent of Police said three of the five men named by the woman have been arrested. It includes the man who had allegedly raped her.

In her statement given to the police at the hospital the victim has said that she was going to the Baiswara Bihar railway station at around 4.30 am.

At the Gaura crossing, Hari Shankar Trivedi, Kishore, Shubham, Shivam, Umesh and two others accosted her.

When the woman had first reported rape by two men, the police had been able to arrest only one suspect. He was later released on bail. The second accused had been missing and tried to get a stay from the high court but wasn’t successful. The police have initiated proceedings to attach his property.