LUCKNOW: An 18-year-old 'dalit' girl was allegedly burnt alive by unidentified persons under Bara Sagwar police station area in Unnao district, around 80 km from state capital Lucknow, on late Thursday night. The charred remains of the victim were found nearly 100 metres from her house.
According to sources, the incident took place when the girl left home on a bicycle for a nearby market -- Tedha Bazar on Thursday evening. “It seems that while going to market, the girl was intercepted and the perpetrators threw petrol on her and set her ablaze,” said the local police adding that prima facie evidence showed that the girl was burnt alive.
The police recovered victim’s body from near a farmland with her bicycle lying close to her. Even a partially filled plastic canister of petrol and a matchbox were also found near her body.
Monitoring the investigation personally, Additional Director General (ADG) Lucknow zone, Rajiv Krishna said that police were treating it as a case of homicide wherein the victim has been murdered.
Calling it a gruesome crime, the ADG assured that the perpetrators would not be spared. “They will soon be traced and sent to jail. Nobody will be spared. However, the local police team was looking at all the possible angles of the incident and the reasons behind it,” he said.
As per the eye witness account, the girl, after being set on fire, tried to douse her at nearby hand pump but could not manage it and succumbed. The mother of the victim was working in a nearby mustard field at the time of the crime.
Sharing details of the incident, SP, Unnao, Pushpanjali claimed that the villagers spotted the burnt body of the victim and they alerted the family which rushed to the spot and informed the police also. The SP said it was yet to be ascertained if it was a murder, a case of sexual assault or she committed suicide. “Anything concrete could be concluded only on the basis of post-mortem report,” maintained the officer.
However, the victim’s parents and siblings, though denied any personal enmity with anyone in the village, alleged that she was burnt alive by unidentified people. Investigation was underway to identify her attackers, SP added.
While, IG, Lucknow zone, Sujeet Pandey visited the spot to supervise investigations into the case registered against unidentified persons. “The charred body of the victim has been sent for post mortem examination,” said station house officer Uttam Singh Rathore.