A woman who was found in a severely burnt condition and naked along a National Highway in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district has alleged that she was set on fire after a failed attempt to gangrape her, PTI reported on Wednesday, quoting police officials.
The woman, a college student, said that three people tried to rape her in a field near Rai Kheda village on Monday, and then doused her with kerosene and set her on fire, Police Superintendent S Anand told PTI.
CCTV footage from the college showed that the woman left the campus through a broken wall about 20 minutes after entering the premises, and was then seen walking alone on a road along a canal, Anand told the news agency. Prior to that, she could be seen talking to her friends outside a classroom and visiting a library, the police officer said.
The woman, a second year student of Bachelor of Arts was admitted to a hospital in Shahjahanpur district, but was later transferred to Syama Prasad Mookerjee Civil Hospital in Lucknow, where she was being treated. Dr SC Saundriyal, the hospital’s director, said that she was in a stable condition even though she had sustained 72% burns.
Meanwhile, the police deployed three teams led by deputy superintendents and a Special Operations Group, to investigate the matter. Apart from this, another team of police personnel has been deployed at the hospital.
“The investigating officer will take up the matter after recording the woman’s statement in Lucknow,” Anand said. He also said that over a dozen students at the college and someone from the woman’s village, whom she had called on the day of the incident, were already questioned.
The woman studies in a college run by Mumukshu Ashram of former BJP MP Chinmayanand, according to PTI. The ashram was at the centre of a controversy in 2019 after a female student of a law college run by it accused Chinmayanand of sexual assault. However, the student later withdrew her charges against the BJP leader, who was arrested in the case in September 2019 and released on bail nearly five months later.