UP Horror: Molesters Set Woman on Fire As She Goes to Register FIR

The two accused have been arrested and three cops have been suspended for dereliction of duty.

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A woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur was set on fire on Saturday, 1 December, allegedly by two men who had molested her.
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A woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur was set on fire on Saturday, 1 December, allegedly by two men who had molested her.

The men attacked the 28-year-old woman when she was on her way to the police station to file a complaint. She had thrice tried to file police complaint but cops at the local police station sent her away, NDTV reported.

According to PTI, the victim was admitted to the district hospital with 40-45 percent burn injuries, Inspector General of Police (IG), Zone, Sujit Pandey said.

On 29 November, the woman was allegedly molested by two brothers – Ramu (32) and Rajesh (28) – while she was visiting her parents. On 1 December, while she was on her way to the police station to register an FIR with her parents, the brothers allegedly caught hold of her, sprinkled kerosene on her body and set her ablaze.

Accused Arrested, Cops Suspended

The two accused have been arrested by the police. They live in the same village.

Taking note of the incident, three policemen, including Tambore Station House Officer (SHO) Om Prakash Saroj and outpost in-charge Manoj Kumar, were suspended, Superintendent of Police (SP) Prabhakar Chowdhury said.

Police Inaction

The victim’s family told NDTV that when she went to the local police station immediately after the accused tried to molest her, the cops on duty sent her away. The next day her in-laws called a Police Control Room van to their house but again the cops asked her to revisit the same police station.

On 1 December, when the woman was going to the police station where she was to be joined by her parents, the accused intercepted her, poured kerosene on her and set her ablaze. Hearing her cries, locals rushed her to a hospital, The Times of India reported.

NHRC, NCW Take Cognisance, Demand Answers from UP Govt

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday sent notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state's police chief over the incident.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has also directed the Uttar Pradesh police chief to apprise it of action taken in the case.

Reportedly, in her recorded statement before a magistrate at the hospital, the victim named the two accused and narrated the "inaction of the local police personnel," the NHRC statement said.

The Commission has observed that the content of the media reports, if true, amount to gross violation of human rights of the victim as the public servant appear to have “failed” to execute their duty to safeguard the victim woman from the rowdy elements.

Accordingly, the NHRC has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and the director general of police, seeking a detailed report, including action taken against the alleged delinquent police officials.

"The Commission would also like to know about present condition of the victim and status of medical treatment being provided to her. The response is expected within four weeks," the rights panel said.

Meanwhile, the NCW termed the incident and the alleged police apathy "deeply disturbing" and sent a notice to the DGP directing him that the matter be fairly investigated and appropriate action be taken to avoid occurrence of similar incidents in future.

“The UP DGP has also been directed to apprise the Commission about condition of the victim and the detailed action taken in the matter,” the NCW said in a tweet.

"Had timely action been taken by them (the police), the woman could have been saved from the brutal attack by the miscreants, who seemingly gathered more courage to attack her due to inaction by the police personnel," the NHRC observed.

(With inputs from PTI, The Times of India, NDTV)

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