Unnao rape victim dies day after being burnt alive
The 23-year-old woman, who was set ablaze by the men she accused of rape, died at Delhi's Safdarjung hospital on Friday night. The woman had suffered 90% burns after she was torched alive by five men, two of whom she had accused of rape in a case in March. Her family has also alleged that they had been threatened by the accused. Here's more.
According to reports, a Safdarjung hospital spokesperson confirmed, "She [the Unnao rape victim] suffered a cardiac arrest at 11:10 pm and we tried to resuscitate her, but she could not survive and at 11:40 pm, she died." On Friday, her condition had been described as critical for at least the following 24-48 hours and she was placed on a ventilator.
The incident occurred on Thursday morning when the woman was on her way to Raebareli for a court hearing in the rape case. She was walking to the Baiswara railway station when she was accosted by five men at the Gaura crossing. The men pressurized her to withdraw the case, however, when she refused, she was doused in kerosene and set ablaze.
Reportedly, eyewitnesses recalled that the woman ran for almost one kilometer after being set on fire, calling for help. She spoke to the police herself from someone else's phone, reports stated. When the police arrived, she was taken to a local hospital.
The two rape accused were identified as Shivam Trivedi and Shubham Trivedi. The duo, along with Hari Shankar Trivedi, Umesh Bajpai, and Ram Kishore Trivedi, allegedly set the woman afire on Thursday. All five were arrested on Thursday and remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a court on Friday. Meanwhile, she was referred to Lucknow's civil hospital and later airlifted to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital.
The Lucknow Divisional commissioner Mukesh Meshram told PTI, "I visited the spot in Unnao on Thursday evening and constituted a five-member SIT led by Unnao ASP Vinod Pandey. The team will probe all aspects of the case and submit a report to me."
Speaking to India Today TV, the woman's brother revealed that before she was placed on a ventilator, she said she wanted to see the accused sentenced to death. "She told me, Brother, please save me. I don't want to die. Those who have done this to me, I want to see them getting a death sentence," he told the channel.
The victim had alleged that she was raped between January 19 and December 12, 2018, on the pretext of marriage. In a statement to the magistrate, she said both Shivam and Shubham had abducted and raped her. The prime accused, Shubham, was arrested and released on bail around 10 days ago. After release, the accused allegedly started threatening the family and tracking the woman.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said, "A police team has been deployed at her (the victim's) residence permanently as a precautionary measure. We will take the case to its logical end." Sure!
The woman's father told Hindustan Times that the accused are influential people and have been sending them threats. The Village Pradhan's son is reportedly among the five accused. The woman's uncle said his shop was threatened to be set on fire. The father told HT, "I will find solace only when the Unnao police shoot all the five who burnt my daughter."