Rape victim set on fire by uncle, condition critical

Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh: The condition of a young woman who was allegedly raped and then set on fire by her own uncle in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district on Saturday afternoon continues to be ‘highly critical’.

The accused was arrested from the outskirts of Kanpur, late on Saturday night.

The doctors at the Kanpur Medical College, where the victim is admitted with 90 per cent burn injuries, said that she remains in critical condition.

Anurag Rajoria, Medical Officer at the Lala Lajpat Rai hospital, said that she is on life support. “We have informed the concerned authorities about her condition,” he said.

According to reports, the victim, aged about 18 years, was alone in the house in Ubipur village when her uncle came in and raped her. When she tried to resist, he poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. The young woman ran out of the house and her neighbours rushed in to douse the flames. They also informed the police.

The victim’s father said that the accused was a distant relation, aged about 25 years.

An FIR has been registered on a complaint submitted by the victim’s brother – but there are some conflicts in his statements.

In his first complaint, the victim’s brother claimed that the girl had immolated herself after being raped, but in the second complaint, he accused the uncle of setting her on fire.

“He raped her and when she threatened to inform the family members, he set her ablaze,” the father said.

A woman police officer at the police station has recorded the victim’s statement in which she had accused ‘uncle’ Mewa Lal of raping her and setting her on fire. A team led by circle officer Kapil Dev Mishra is investigating the case

Meanwhile, District Magistrate Sanjeev Singh told reporters that the victim had been in a relationship with the ‘uncle’ for the past two years.

“A Panchayat had been convened on Saturday itself and the Panchayat members asked the couple, to go their separate ways. It was decided in the presence of the parents of the girl and the ‘uncle’ that the uncle would stay away from the village until the girl was married,” said the district magistrate.

This incident is shockingly similar to the Unnao case in which a rape victim was set ablaze by the rape accused on December 5 when the victim was on her way to Rae Bareli for a court hearing. She was taken to Lucknow and then airlifted to Delhi for treatment. The victim died a day later during treatment in Delhi.

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