Almost three months after she was allegedly raped on Independence Day, a 15-year-old Dalit girl from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr died of burn injuries at a Delhi hospital on Tuesday, 17 November, allegedly after being set ablaze by relatives and acquaintances of the rape accused, who is now behind bars.
Meanwhile, the family members of the victim have been provided security as they feared a threat to their lives from supporters of the accused, Hindustan Times reported.
An FIR filed by the girl’s family says that on Tuesday, 17 November, seven men entered their house and allegedly set the rape survivor on fire, after soaking her in petrol. According to Bulandshahr SSP Santosh Kumar Singh, five of the seven accused have been arrested.
"We've collected all evidence from the scene. Five of the seven accused have been arrested. Efforts are on to nab the other accused," Santosh K Singh, Bulandshahr SSP, told ANI.
“Till 11 am, it was known that the girl set herself on fire. However, her family has alleged that she was set on fire by others...a fair investigation will be conducted.Santosh Kumar Singh, Bulandshahr SSP to NDTV.
Threatened on Call: Girl’s Family
According to The Indian Express, the Dalit girl’s uncle said that the family was being threatened and pressurised to withdraw the case against the jailed rape accused and had even received a call to the same effect.
“Around 8:30 pm Monday, I received a call from an unknown number – they threatened and told the family to withdraw the case or face consequences. At 9:30 am Tuesday, when the girl’s parents were not at home, we were told that she was set on fire.”Dalit Girl’s uncle to The Indian Express.
The uncle also added that the girl’s mother was cooking for guests on the occasion of bhai dooj, at a different part of the village, when the girl was allegedly set on fire. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, from where she was referred to Bulandshahr.
Finally, the family was asked to take the girl to RML Hospital, where doctors declared her dead after treating her for 15 to 20 minutes, the uncle said.
The girl’s father works as a mason and she was allegedly raped by a man who had come to her village to guard a mango orchard.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express)