Unnao rape survivor dies day after being set ablaze, kin were threatened by accused
A 24-year-old rape victim, who was assaulted and set on fire by five men in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, died on Friday night, according to a doctor at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment. “She suffered a cardiac arrest at 11:10 pm...we tried to resuscitate her, but she did not survive,” according to a doctor of the hospital.
Officials at the hospital said doctors tried to resuscitate her for about 30 minutes, but she died at 11:40pm.
The woman was airlifted to the Capital and admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital as she suffered 90% burns after Thursday’s assault. The five men who assaulted the rape survivor included Shivam Trivedi and Shubham Trivedi, the two accused in the gang rape case.
In her statement, the woman said the two men, accompanied by Hari Shankar Trivedi, Umesh Bajpai, and Ram Kishore Trivedi, accosted her at Gaura crossing, pressured her to withdraw the case, and then, when she declined, set her ablaze. The five men were remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a court on Friday.
The Lucknow Divisional Commissioner has constituted a five-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the assault on the woman.
“I visited the spot in Unnao on Thursday evening and constituted a five-member SIT led by Unnao ASP Vinod Pandey. The team will probe all aspects of the case and submit a report to me,” divisional commissioner Mukesh Meshram told news agency PTI.
Earlier in the day, when HT visited the woman’s village, it was shrouded in an eerie silence, with her father demanding exemplary punishment against the accused. “I will find solace only when the Unnao police shoot all the five who burnt my daughter,” said the father, who is a blacksmith by profession.
The 65-year-old man said his family was being constantly threatened by the accused and their associates but the police failed to take any action despite being informed about the threats.
“They were regularly threatening us; they are big people. No one in the village can afford to go against them. Instead, people always conveyed their threats and messages,” he said.
An uncle of the woman said he has been threatened with “dire consequences” by relatives of the accused. “Your shop will be set on fire and will not let you live,” the victim’s uncle described the caller as saying. “I am going to inform the police and demand action in this regard,” he said.
The Uttar Pradesh Police has deployed a team, including one sub-inspector and two constables, at the victim’s residence. “A police team has been deployed at her (victim’s) residence permanently as a precautionary measure. We will take the case to its logical end,” Praveen Kumar, IG, law and order, said.
(With inputs Haider Naqvi in Kanpur and agencies)