Woman Sets Herself Ablaze After UP Cops Refuse FIR for 16 Rapes

The woman, who alleges she was sold by her family for Rs 10,000 in 2011, has sustained near-fatal burn injuries.

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India
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An alleged gang rape victim who sustained near-fatal burn injuries is battling for her life at a hospital in Delhi, after she set herself on fire following police's refusal to lodge her complaint in Uttar Pradesh's Hapur district, reported Hindustan Times.

The woman set herself ablaze in Moradabad after she was repeatedly turned away by the police, when she tried to complain that she was raped after her family sold her for Rs 10,000.

Appalling Details in the FIR

Appalling details have emerged in the FIR, which the police registered later. According to the the FIR, 16 men allegedly raped the woman over a period of five years starting 2014, after her father and aunt sold her in 2011, reported Times of India.

The FIR said that the woman was first married ten years ago, at the age of 14. She was separated a year later and lived with her father and a son she had from the marriage. She was remarried in 2011, after her was sold for Rs 10,000 to another man. She had her second child with him.

However, the woman's father has refuted allegations levelled against him, reported Hindustan Times.

The woman said she was raped in 2014, when her second husband could not repay a loan he had taken from his employer.

"Taking advantage of the financial condition of our family, the employer raped me and repeatedly did that threatening to defame me in the village," read the FIR, according to Times of India. The woman had her third child from this rape.

The woman said she informed her husband about the incident. However, she said, he asked her to keep quiet, after which the husband switched jobs.

Further, the FIR goes on to cite multiple instances of rape the victim suffered. In 2016, the woman was allegedly raped by a man called Shaamu at a farm. In 2017, she alleged 14 different men raped her at different times.

‘Police Inaction Despite Approaching Several Times’

The woman alleged that the former station house officer (SHO) Mukesh and the current SHO of Babugarh police station Rajesh Bharti took no action on her complaints, despite approaching them several times. She also alleged that there was no response from the UP Chief Minister's helpline (1076) as well.

The woman alleged that she and her partner received death threats from the accused after which they had to flee the village and she later set herself on fire.

A case has been registered against the accused and the investigation is underway, Babugarh police station officer Rajsh Bharti said, after a video clip of her allegations went viral on social media.

Meanwhile, the villagers and the woman's second husband have denied her allegations, saying that she has a "habit of calling police over petty matters."

DCW Takes Cognisance of the Incident

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal on Monday, 13 May, took cognisance of the case and wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking justice for the woman.

"Shame on UP Govt. The girl had to come to Delhi, call on our 181 Helpline and seek help! UP Govt is responsible for her present condition. Despite 80% burns, UP Govt is yet to register an FIR and make arrests. Poora gundaraj macha rakha hai!" she tweeted.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday, 14 May, issued a notice to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh, asking them to submit two separate detailed reports in connection with the treatment of the victim, reported ANI.

The DGP has also been directed to inform the Commission in detail about the progress of the investigation and arrests, if any. A four-week deadline has been set to file the reports.

(With inputs from Times of India. Hindustan Times and ANI.)

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