New Delhi/Lucknow: On Thursday morning, a 23-year-old Uttar Pradesh woman was set on fire by the men she had accused of rape, is critical and has been put on ventilator, Medical Superintendent of Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital said on Friday. She suffered 90 per cent burns in the attack and was airlifted to Delhi from Lucknow on Thursday.
“The victim is in very serious condition. There are minimal chances of survival. Now, we have put her on ventilator,” said Dr Sunil Gupta, Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, according to news agency ANI.
A “green corridor” was provided by the Delhi Police to ensure hindrance-free movement of the ambulance that carried her from the airport to the hospital. The 13-kilometre distance was covered in 18 minutes, a release by the Delhi Police said.
“We have set up a dedicated ICU room for the patient. A team of doctors would be monitoring her health condition,” Dr Sunil Gupta, Medical Superintendent at Safdarjung Hospital, told PTI.
She would be under the observation of Dr Shalab Kumar, Head of Burn and Plastic Surgery at the hospital.
In her statement to Subdivisional magistrate (SDM) Daya Shankar Pathak at the Unnao district hospital, she said the men accosted her at Gaura crossing and asked her to withdraw the case. When she refused, they first hit her on the head and attacked her with a knife and as she fell, they poured petrol and set her on fire, reported Hindustan Times.
She walked nearly a kilometre screaming for help before a witness saw her and informed police in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao. She was on her way to a local court for a hearing on her rape case.
After dialling the emergency 112 helpline, the witness held his mobile phone on speaker so that the badly burnt woman could speak to the police.
The police said woman's five attackers included the two men she had accused of raping her. One of them had been missing and the other was released on bail last week, they added.
One of the eye witness said: "We saw her coming towards us, screaming for help. She had been set on fire. We were scared. She had walked for nearly one km before she reached us."
In March, the woman had filed a FIR against two men accusing them of raping her and filming the act. The FIR was filed in the neighbouring Rae Bareli district reportedly after the intervention of a local court.
According to a NDTV report, a senior police official said: "In her FIR, the woman said that one of the two accused was in a relationship with her in 2018 but he physically exploited her, lured her with a marriage proposal. Later, he refused to get married and raped her with another friend."
"One of the accused was sent to jail. He was released on bail on November 30. The two men set the 23-year-old afire to take revenge," he added.
The incident came just days after Hyderabad veterinarian’s rape and murder in Telangana.