A second year student of Bachelors of Arts has testified to the police that she was set on fire after a failed attempt of rape by three unidentified persons in Uttar Pradesh, Shahjahanpur district, claimed the police on Wednesday, 24 February.
Superintendent of Police, S Anand told media outlets that the investigation for the case is ongoing. The police have seen CCTV footage, which shows the girl descending alone from the third floor.
The officer added, “The girl went out of the college campus from a broken outer wall about 20 minutes after entering the premises and was seen walking alone on a canal road,” according to PTI.
So far, dozens of college students and friends of the victim, including a person she called from her village on Monday, 22 February, have been questioned, according to Anand.
According to the SP, the survivor was unable to accurately recall how she reached the hospital from the third floor of her college building. It may be noted here that memory lapses are a common occurrence in survivors of gender-based violence and rape, according to research published by PubMed Journal.
The girl testified that the three men allegedly tried to gang rape her in a field near Rai Kheda Village, along UP’s national highway on Monday. When the attempt failed, they set the woman on fire by pouring kerosene on her.
Local villagers found her disrobed, and covered her with a stole (scarf) before calling the police, told a resident to PTI. The police reportedly found tumblers near the crime scene, but no traces of alcohol have been found so far.
The college student has endured 72 per cent burns, spread across her stomach, chest and neck, and is currently stable. She is being treated in Civil Hospital, Lucknow, reported IANS. She was first admitted to a district hospital before being transferred to the Lucknow hospital
Currently, three teams led by deputy superintendents of police (DSP) as well as an SOG team have been deployed, as well as a team of five policemen, led by Deputy SP stationed at Civil Hospital, added the report.
The victim is a native of a village near Jalalabad police station area, and is a student of Swami Shukdevanand Post Graduate College, noted PTI. The education institute is run by Mumukshu Ashram, a trust of former union minister Swami Chinmayanand who was embroiled in a controversy in 2019 over allegations of sexual assault by a law student that was later withdrawn.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
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