A rape survivor from Unnao was battling for life with 90 per cent burns on Thursday after five men, including two of the accused who are out on bail, allegedly set her on fire while she was on her way to court, police said.
All the five men have been arrested.
The woman, who was raped in December last year and is being treated in a Lucknow hospital, said in a statement that she was on her way from her village in Unnao district to Rae Bareli where the trial is going on when she was attacked and set ablaze early on Thursday morning.
Doctors attending on her at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital here said she is in a “very serious” condition.
“The condition of the girl who was set on fire and bought here at 10 am is very serious. She has 90 per cent burn injuries and we are taking utmost care,” Medical Superintendent Dr Ashutosh Dubey told PTI.
In a chilling recap of the incident, the woman said in her statement to Sub Divisional Magistrate Dayashankar Pathak that she was going to Rae Bareli to pursue her case. When she reached the Gaura turn, near her home, Harishankar Trivedi, Ram Kishore Trivedi, Umesh Bajpai, Shivam Trivedi and Shubham Trivedi attacked her and set her afire.
She alleged that Shivam and Shubham Trivedi had abducted and raped her in December 2018. However, the FIR was registered in March.
After she was set on fire, she 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 before being referred to Lucknow, police said.
Taking note of the incident, which made headlines across the country, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed senior police and state administration officials to visit the spot and submit a report by the evening.
The chief minister also told officials that the woman should be given the best possible treatment. He also asked police to ensure strict action against the guilty and ensure their conviction in court, officials said.
The Samajwadi Party and the Congress attacked the ruling Yogi Adityanath government over the incident.
“Yesterday the home minister of the country and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister lied that law and order in Uttar Pradesh has become good. Seeing such incidents everyday leads to anger…,” Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, adding that BJP leaders should now stop false propaganda.
In another tweet later, she said she prayed to god that the woman gains health soon.
The SP condemned the BJP government and demanded the resignation of the DGP.
“The state government should take moral responsibility the incident of setting ablaze a rape victim in Unnao and resign,” SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.
“The attempt to set ablaze the rape victim is result of prevailing ‘jungleraj’ in UP. CM should be ashamed and DGP should resign. There should be no drama but strict action should be taken and best treatment and security should be provided to the victim,” the party added on Twitter.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) also stepped in with its chairperson Rekha Sharma writing to state Director General of Police O P Singh.
She sought an action taken report from the Uttar Pradesh police as well as a detailed report on the number of reported heinous crimes committed against women and bail granted in such cases in the last three years.
“Considering the gravity of the matter, it is requested to send a detailed action taken report in the matter from the date of filing complaint of rape by-the rape survivor and strict action be taken against erring officials for not providing protection to the rape victim, if found guilty,” Sharma said in the letter.
A similar case was recently reported from Sambhal district of the state. The woman later succumbed in a hospital in Delhi.
Unnao has been in the spotlight after a young woman alleged that she had been raped in 2017, when she was 17 years old. The main accused in the case is former BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar.