UP: Teenager Set On Fire By Six Men For Refusing Their Sexual Advances
On August 17, a minor was set ablaze at her residence in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh by six men. The 14-year-old is battling for her life at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital after she received high degree burns.
According to The Hindu, the tenth class student was sexually harassed by the accused. The accused, who lives in the same locality as that of the victim, kept harassing the girl with sexual advances. When the girl did not respond to any of that, the accused, along with his friends, barged into her house, thrashed the girl and her mother. The family claims that the girl was then set ablaze by the six men for refusing to talk to them.
“Five persons have been arrested in connection with the case,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (Meerut) Rajesh Kumar Pandey.
Fighting for her life
The minor is fighting for her life in Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi. The hospital medical superintendent Rajendra Sharma said, “The girl was brought here in a critical state. She has 60 per cent deep burns and smoke inhalation injuries. The girl is being looked after by a team of doctors.”
The 55-year-old victim’s grandfather, in his testimony, has identified the six accused as – Rajvansh Bagdi, Devendra Bagdi, Rohit Saini, Gajraj Saini, Aman and Deepak. He has alleged that the six men barged into their house and before pouring kerosene on the victim, the men thrashed her. According to him, the victim’s grandmother was also present during the incident.
Other family members’ claim
The other family members also narrated the incident, and they claimed that the main accused Rohit was forcing the victim to talk to him. He was following the girl after her tuition and was pursuing her to speak to him for the last three-four days. “After the girl refused to talk to him, On August 16, Rohit and his friends stopped her, while she was returning from tuitions, held her hand and asked her to come with them,” they claimed.
Following which the girl resisted and then the accused threw a mobile phone in her bag and left. According to the grandfather, while leaving the place, the accused shouted that she would receive a call in the evening and if she doesn’t pick up the call then they (accused) would harm her family.
The girl narrated the entire incident to her parents after she arrived home. The girl’s family decided to speak to the accused’s parents. Later in the night at around 8 pm, the girl received a call on the phone and her father answered the call.
Scolded by the father
The victim’s father scolded the man over the phone and asked him to stop harassing his daughter. The parents then went to Rohit’s house to speak to his parents.
The grandfather further said that the accused’s parents assured the girl’s family that they would make him understand. They also asked the girl’s family not to file a police complaint as it would bring a bad name to their family. However, the accused again called the girl at 1 a.m and was again scolded by the father.
On the day of the incident
Next morning, the two accused came to the girl’s house with an excuse to get their phone back. “First, they sweet-talked and then started an argument. They threatened to upload videos and pictures of the girl on the internet that would ruin her life. Eventually, they pulled out their belts and started beating the girl and her mother. Then two men called a few others who brought kerosene and set her on fire before fleeing,” said the 55-year-old.
Meanwhile, the neighbours immediately gathered and rushed the girl to a hospital where she underwent treatment. On Monday, the girl was sent to the Safdarjung Hospital for further treatment.
Change in the statement
In an earlier report, the Meerut Police had said that the girl had set herself on fire after being harassed and threatened by the accused. “Right after the incident, the father had stated the same, however, at the time of lodging complaint, said that she was set ablaze by the accused,” said the Senior Superintendent of police while speaking to The Hindu.
The police also said that they are giving full assistance to the victim and her family in every way.
Meanwhile, the grandfather also clarified the change in father’s testimony. He said that the victim’s father was initially unaware of the events as he was not present when it happened. The women of the family later informed the father, the grandfather said.