A 23-year-old rape survivor who was set on fire on December 5, told the Unnao police that she was thrashed and stabbed before being immolated by five men including two she had accused of raping her.
The woman, in her burnt state, was conscious all the way to the hospital, where she gave a statement to the police identifying all five attackers.
“At 4 am I was going to a local railway station to catch a train to Rae Bareli. Five people (she names them) were waiting for me. They surrounded me and first hit me on the leg with a stick and also stabbed me in the neck with a knife. After that they poured petrol on me and set me on fire,” the woman told the police from her hospital bed in Unnao.
“When I started shouting, a crowd collected and the police were called,” she said.
Her alleged rapist Shivam Trivedi, who was among the attackers, had been released on bail in the case five days ago. His co-accused Shubham Trivedi, who had been missing, also participated in the attack.
The woman was on her way to attend the proceedings of the rape case she had filed against two men in March this year.
The incident took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district and the police have lodged a complaint against the three men, including one who has been accused of raping her.
“We got the information in the morning. The woman gave the names of the accused. We have formed teams to arrest the accused. Three men have already been arrested. We are on the lookout for another two men,” Vikrant Vir, a senior police official in Unnao said.
The woman has suffered 60-70 per cent burn injuries, officials informed. She has now been rushed to a specialised hospital in Lucknow for further treatment but her situation remains critical.
The woman filed a rape case against two men hailing from Unnao. She accused the men of raping her and filming the act in March. The FIR was filed in the neighbouring Rae Bareli district, reportedly after the intervention of a local court.
After the FIR, police arrested one of the accused but he managed to get a bail.
The other remained absconded until today. Cops claimed they had attached his property and issued a lookout notice against him.
“Our first priority is to save the woman. The criminal justice system has three-four compartments but we do not work like that. I do not want to blame anyone. The fact is that we did arrest one of the accused. I will get more facts on the case but I am sure that the local police would have opposed the bail application of the rape-accused,” UP Director General of Police OP Singh told NDTV.
Footage from the local hospital in Unnao where the woman was initially taken, shows the woman on a stretcher being transferred to an ambulance, surrounded by many policemen and senior officers.