Days after the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad that led to national outrage, a woman was set ablaze, allegedly by the same accused who had raped her earlier, in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao yesterday.
The victim has been admitted to the Civil Hospital in Lucknow with over 90% burns.
The woman was set on fire by the two rape accused, out on bail, along with their three associates. All five accused have been arrested.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has taken suo motu cognisance of the case. In a letter sent to Uttar Pradesh director general of police O P Singh, NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma has sought a detailed report of the incident and the action taken.
She has also sought to know what action has been taken against officials who failed to provide protection to the victim.
The NCW has also wanted to know the number of heinous crime cases against women in UP and the number of cases in which the accused had been granted bail in the last three years.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, meanwhile, directed that the cost of the treatment of the victim be borne by the state government. He directed top police officials to monitor the action being taken in the case and submit their report to him.
The Samajwadi Party has demanded the resignation of the Yogi government over moral responsibility for the Unnao incident.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav also asked the judiciary to take suo moto cognisance of the incident and initiate action. “The government has lost the moral authority to remain in power,” he said.
SP legislator Sunil Kumar Sajan alleged that the accused enjoyed the patronage of BJP leaders.
The victim had been gang raped by the accused in December last year but charges were registered in Rae Bareli only in March this year on the intervention of a local court.
Yesterday morning, when the victim was on her way to Rae Bareli district court for the hearing of her case, she was attacked by the accused and set ablaze.
In Lucknow, the victim gave a statement to the sub-divisional magistrate Dayashankar Pathak saying that Hari Shankar Dwiwedi, Shubham Dwiwedi, Shivam Dwiwedi, Ram Kishore Trivedi and Umesh Bajpai had attacked her and set her afire.
After she was set on fire, she tried to run and some villagers saw her and came to her aid, the police said.
She further alleged that Shivam and Shubham Dwiwedi had abducted and raped her in December 2018. However, the charges were registered only in March this year.
S K Bhagat, inspector general, Lucknow Zone, said: “In her charge-sheet, the woman said one of the accused was in a relationship with her in 2018 but he physically exploited her after luring her with a marriage proposal. Later, he refused to get married and raped the woman with another friend.”
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the chief minister for lying regarding the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.
In a tweet, she said, “Seeing such incidents occur on a daily basis saddens one’s heart. BJP leaders should now come out of their false propaganda.”
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