Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
A 23-year-old woman was set ablaze on Thursday morning by five men outside her village in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district.
The woman had filed a rape case against two men in March and was headed to a court hearing in neighboring Raebareli district.
Reportedly, the five men who set her on fire included the rape accused and have been arrested.
Here are more details.
According to Navbharat Times, the woman was headed to the Baiswara railway station at 4 am to catch a train to Raebareli when she was ambushed by the five men at the Gaura crossing.
The five accused- identified as Hari Shankar Trivedi, Kishore, Shubham, Shivam, and Umesh- allegedly hit her on the head, attacked her with a knife, and then set her afire.
Several reports suggest the woman suffered 90% burn injuries. She was initially rushed to a local hospital and later referred to the Lucknow's Civil hospital.
"Her condition is critical as she has suffered more than 90% burns," Dr. DS Negi, Director of the Civil hospital, told News18.
Reportedly, the victim is now likely to be shifted to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital.
In March, the woman had filed a complaint against two men, accusing them of raping her and filming the incident.
The police had arrested one of the accused, who was recently released on bail, while the other was on the run.
Both the men are among the accused in the Thursday incident and have been arrested, along with their three accomplices.
Meanwhile, UP Director General of Police OP Singh, rather defensively, said, "Our first priority is to save the woman."
He added, "I do not want to blame anyone. The fact is that we did arrest one of the accused. I will get more facts on the case but I am sure that the local police would have opposed the bail application of the rape-accused."
The National Commission for Women said that it has taken suo motu cognizance of the matter. The Body said it has written to DGP Singh seeking a report on the action taken in the case at the earliest.
Separately, the Yogi Adityanath-led state government has urged the police to ensure "maximum punishment" for the accused and has sought a detailed report in the case. The state government has also decided to fund the woman's treatment.
Calling the incident "unfortunate, Unnao BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj said, "The accused in such heinous crimes should get capital punishment."
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi condemned the BJP government for "spreading false propaganda" about improved law and order in UP.
Nationalist Congress Party's Supriya Sule noted, "If the culprits were not shielded and prosecuted on time this wouldn't have happened."
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav demanded a "mass resignation" of the state government.
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav also called for President's Rule in UP.
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