Unnao rape victim set on fire on way to court

Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs  | Bhaskar Hari Sharma

Nation, Current Affairs

The NCW has sought a detailed action taken report from the Uttar Pradesh police against the culprits.

An ambulance carrying the Unnao rape survivor who was set afire, in Lucknow on Thursday. (Photo: AP)

New Delhi/Unnao: The 23-year-old rape survivor from Unnao is battling for life with 90 per cent burns on Thursday after five men, including two of the accused who are out on  bail, allegedly set her on fire while she was on her way to court.  All five men have been arrested.

The NCW has sought a detailed action taken report from the Uttar Pradesh police against the culprits. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for half an hour amid an uproar by Opposition parties, mainly Congress, over the incident.

The victim was airlifted to Delhi on Thursday evening for further treatment at Safdarjung Hospital. A 13-km ‘green corridor’ was made by the Delhi police from airport to the Safdarjung Hospital, which was covered in 18 minutes.

The woman, who was raped in December last year, said in a statement that she was on her way from her village in Unnao district to Rae Bareli, where the trial is going on, when she was attacked and set ablaze early on Thursday morning. Doctors attending her at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital in Lucknow said she is in a “very serious” condition.

In a chilling recap of the incident, the woman said in a statement to subdivisional magistrate Dayashankar Pathak that she was going to Rae Bareli to pursue her case.

When she reached Gaura turn, near her home, Harishankar Trivedi, Ram Kishore Trivedi, Umesh Bajpai, Shivam Trivedi and Shubham Trivedi attacked her and set her ablaze. She alleged Shivam and Shubham Trivedi had abducted and raped her in December 2018. However, the FIR was registered only in March.

After being set on fire, she ran for almost 1 km before eyewitnesses saw her and informed the police, which sent her to the Community Health Centre from where she was sent to the district hospital, before being referred to Lucknow, the police said. Taking note of the incident, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed senior police and administration officials to visit the spot and submit a report by the evening.

The Chief Minister also told officials that the woman should be  given the best possible treatment. He also asked the police to ensure strict action against the guilty and ensure their conviction in court.

The Samajwadi Party and the Congress attacked the government over the incident.

“Yesterday, the Home minister of the country and the UP CM lied that law and order in Uttar Pradesh has become good. Seeing such incidents every day leads to anger,” AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, adding that BJP leaders should now stop false propaganda. In another tweet, she said she prayed to God that the woman regains her health soon. The SP also demanded the resignation of the UP DGP. “The state government must take moral responsibility for the incident of setting ablaze a rape victim in Unnao and resign,” SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.

The NCW also stepped in, with its chairperson Rekha Sharma writing to DGP O.P. Singh seeking a detailed report on the number of reported heinous crimes against women and bail granted in such cases in the past three years.