UP: Woman Set Ablaze For Resisting Harassment, Says Police Turned Her Away Twice
In yet another gruesome incident, a woman in her twenties in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur was set on fire on Saturday, December 1, allegedly by two men who had harassed her previously. The victim, with over 45% burn injuries has been admitted to a local hospital.
Sitapur: Woman suffered 45% burns allegedly after 2 persons molested her & set her ablaze. 1 arrested. Police say, "as per family's complaint, she was molested on Nov 29 & set ablaze on Dec 1. Efforts on to nab the other accused. SHO suspended for not filing complaint on Nov 29" pic.twitter.com/A3nCB81B9r
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 2, 2018
Reportedly, the incident took place two days after the woman was harassed by the accused. The victim was on her way to the local police station to file a complaint for the third time after she was turned away the first two times. The accused have been identified as Rajesh and Ramu and were arrested on the next day, reported The Times Of India.
Victim tried to file police complaints
According to the victim’s statement, the ordeal began on November 29. While she was going to her in-laws’ house in the adjacent village, two men, who later turned out to be brothers passed lewd remarks and attempted to molest her. She fled the scene and with the help of locals, reached the Tambor police station, where the police personnel on duty sent her away.
Upon informing her in-laws about the incident, on November 30, they informed “UP 100”. While a police team did come to the house, they left after the directing the family to file a written complaint at Tambor police station. The next day, while on her way to the police station, accompanied by her parents, the accused allegedly intercepted the victim near a sugarcane field.
The Hindu reported that when the woman went to the sugarcane field to relieve herself, the two men poured kerosene and set her ablaze. Hearing the cries of the woman, locals intervened and took her to the hospital where her statements were recorded.
Police officers suspended
A case has been registered under 326 ( voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Police officers, including the Tambor station house officer Om Prakash Saroj, were suspended for laxity in duty. IGP (Lucknow range) Sujeet Pandey has reportedly launched an inquiry to determine the role of the local police outpost in-charge, Manoj Kumar, said DGP O P Singh to the daily.
The Logical Indian Take
The incident could perhaps have been avoided had the police officers in charge stepped up to register a case the first time around. While the victims of sexual abuse are often times overburdened with the narrative of not approaching the police at the correct time, it does not hold true in this case. Police stations are supposed to be safe spaces for victims and The Logical Indian urges the authorities to look into the matter and take strict actions against all those who are found guilty.