All 5 arrested; victim airlifted to Delhi hospital.
New Delhi/Unnao: A 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 the 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 the Opposition parties, mainly Congress, over the incident.
The victim was airlifted to Delhi on Thurdsay evening for further treatment at Safdarjung Hospital. A 13-km “green corridor” was made by the Delhi police from IGI Airport to the Safdarjung Hospital, which was covered in 18 minutes.
The woman, who was raped in December last year and was being treated at a Lucknow hospital, 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 on 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 beforeeyewitnesses 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 ruling Yogi Adityanath government over the incident. “Yesterday the home minister of the country and the UP chief minister 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.
“Considering the gravity of the matter, it is requested to send a detailed action taken report in the matter from the date of filing complaint of rape by the rape survivor and strict action be taken against erring officials for not providing protection to the rape victim, if found guilty,” Ms Sharma said in the letter.