Rape survivor set ablaze on Way To Court In Unnao , Air-Lifted To Delhi
LUCKNOW : A 23-year-old woman, set on fire this morning by the men she had accused of rape, walked nearly a kilometer screaming for help before a witness saw her and called the police in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao. The woman was on her way to a local court for a hearing on her rape case when just outside her village, five men poured kerosene on her and set her on fire.
After dialing the emergency 112 helpline, the witness held his mobile phone on speaker so that the badly burnt woman could speak to the police. The incident took place on Thursday morning when the accused, out on bail, attempted to burn the woman by dousing her with kerosene more than a kilometre away from her home on a deserted road.
The woman was on her way to Raebareli for the hearing in the rape case when the men attacked her. She was reportedly alone at the time of the incident. After she was set on fire, the woman ran for a while before eyewitnesses saw her and informed police, which sent her to the Community Health Centre from where she was sent to the district hospital. The accused did not go into hiding after committing the crime and were arrested from their respective homes, sources said.
The woman was first shifted to Lucknow’s Civil hospital with 90% burns and then airlifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital for treatment. “Her condition is critical as she has suffered more than 90% burns,” Dr DS Negi, Director of the Civil hospital, said.
Upon her arrival in the National Capital, the Delhi Traffic Police provided a green corridor for the vehicle carrying her from the airport to the hospital.
Taking serious note of the incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath directed officials to provide medical facilities to the woman. He also asked the district administration and police officials to take stern action against the accused.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has taken suo motu cognizance of the incident and has asked UP DGP to apprise them of the report regarding the action taken since the date of filing of the rape complaint by the victim.
Reacting to the gruesome incident, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi trained guns at Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the law and order situation in the state. “Union Home Minister and UP Chief Minister blatantly lied saying that law and order situation in the state has improved. Seeing such incidents on daily basis is enraging,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
The incident has horrified the nation just days after the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Telangana, which has led to calls for tough and quick punishment of four accused men.
“We saw her coming towards us, screaming for help. She had been set on fire. We were scared. She had walked for nearly one km before she reached us,” one of the eyewitnesses who called for help told reporters. She was rushed to a specialised hospital in Lucknow.
In March, the woman had filed a first information report against two men, who are from her father’s village in Unnao, accusing them of raping her and filming the act. The FIR was filed in the neighbouring Rae Bareli district reportedly after the intervention of a local court.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).