The Jharkhand Police on Thursday said that they have added sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to the first information report registered after a Class 12 girl died in Dumka district after being allegedly set on fire by a man who stalked her, ANI reported.
The charges were added a day after the Child Welfare Committee in Dumka found that the girl was a minor, and not 19 years old as the police had claimed initially based on a statement that she had given to a magistrate.
The panel’s chairperson Amarendra Kumar told ANI that the girl was 15 years and nine months-old, according to her certificates.
However, the girl’s father told the news agency that she was 16 years old. “The police might have heard inaccurately while she was giving statement as she was not in a good condition due to her burn injuries,” he added.
After it emerged that the girl was not an adult, the Child Welfare Committee demanded action against the accused person, Shahrukh Hussain, under the POCSO Act.
On August 23, Hussain, who allegedly was stalking the girl from Jaruadih area, poured petrol on her through her window while she was sleeping and set her on fire. She died of her burn injuries in a Ranchi hospital on August 28.
Her father told The Indian Express that her daughter had told him that Hussain used to harass her. “But I did not realise it would take this tragic path so quickly,” he said.
After protests erupted over her death, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said the case will be taken up by a fast-track court for speedy disposal, PTI reported.