Bihar Woman Burnt Alive Post Molestation Bid: Cop Removed, 2 Held

After battling for her life at a government hospital in Patna for fifteen days, the woman lost her life on 15 Nov.

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Victim’s family stage protest in Patna
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On the fateful night of 30 October 2020, Gulnaz, a 20-year-old woman hailing from Rasalpur Habib village under Desari block of Bihar’s Vaishali district, was burnt alive for allegedly resisting a molestation bid. The accused, Satish and Chandan, poured kerosene on her and set her on fire.

After battling for her life at a government hospital in Patna for fifteen days, Gulnaz (the victim) lost her life on Sunday, 15 November.

The two accused have been arrested by an SIT that was set up to investigate the matter, news agency ANI reported.

According to a Hindustan Live report, the main accused Satish surrendered before the police on Wednesday, 18 November.

Earlier, in one such raid, another accused Chandan was arrested by the Vaishali police.

The victim's family has alleged that they were issued threats by the accused’s family.

In her statement, Gulnaz told the police: “Satish Rai and Chandan Rai started misbehaving with me and then poured kerosene on my body and set me on fire”.

What Happened on 30 October?

On 29 October, Satish had allegedly told Gulnaz that if she refuses to marry him, he will kill her. “Marry me or I will kill you,” Satish had threatened my daughter,” Gulnaz’s mother Saimuna Khatoon told The Quint.

“My daughter resisted Satish’s advances and warned him that she will complain about the harassment to her Ammi,” Saimuna Khatoon says.

According to Khatoon, her daughter was again harassed by Satish the next day while she was coming back home from work.

“He again threatened my daughter to marry him, he said that if she refuses to marry him he will kill her. My daughter told him that she doesn’t want to marry him and she is not interested in him, he still went on pursuing her. She even said that she can’t marry him because she is a Muslim and he is a Hindu, but Satish did not listen,” Khatoon added.

Gulnaz had also told Satish that she was engaged.

“At around 5:30 pm on 30 October, Gulnaz was busy with her household chores. She went out of the house to call her younger brother when Satish along with his companion came out of Rai’s house and grabbed my daughter when she resisted they poured kerosene on her and set her ablaze. My younger son saw the horrific incident and started screaming for help.”
Saimuna Khatoon, victim’s mother

Khatoon added that her daughter was immediately taken to a private hospital on behest of Satish’s relative Promod Rai.

“I am a tailor, I wasn’t in house on the day of the incident, I had gone to Patna for my work. When I was coming back home, I received a call from Promod Rai, he said that they are admitting my daughter to a private hospital, I told them that we won’t be able to afford the medical treatment at a private hospital, Promod Rai said that treatment at the private hospital will save my daughter,” Khatoon told The Quint.

Saimuna Khatoon added that when she along with her family arrived at the hospital, they saw Promod Rai giving some money to the doctor and asked him to treat her daughter but the matter shouldn’t go ahead.

The victim’s mother said that her daughter was initially treated well at the private hospital but after two days, the medical care decreased.

“We gave seven thousand rupees for the treatment, but the fee later increased to one lakh, forty thousand. We can’t afford such money, I am a tailor, we were cheated of our money in the hospital,” Khatoon alleged.

Gulnaz was then shifted to Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) with the help of social activist Kiran Yadav.

Gulnaz’s brother Iftikhar Alam claimed that Yadav asked people on social media to donate money for his sister’s treatment.

“People donated money, but the entire amount went into Yadav’s bank account, and we were struggling to get proper treatment,” he added.

Officer-In-Charge Suspended

An FIR was registered against the accused on 2 November, even though Khatoon complained about the incident on 30 October.

She alleged that the initial FIR was not registered due to Promod Rai’s influence, saying, “Promod Rai didn’t want the matter to be disclosed.”

Vaishali SP Dr Gaurav Mangla told The Quint that Chandpura officer-in-charge has been suspended for delaying the investigation. He said that one of the accused, Chandan, has been arrested.

“Satish Rai and Chandan were present at the site of the incident, we have arrested Chandan. Our team has been making a substantial inquiry to arrest the other accused,” Dr Gaurav Mangla said.

Family Staged Protest

After Gulnaz’s death and delayed police action, her family staged a protest demanding the arrest of the accused, the video of the arrest soon went viral on social media. Soon a campaign was carried out on social media and rallies were held demanding justice for Gulnaz.

After the police’s assurance, the family then performed her last rites.

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