CHENNAI: A 15-year-old school-going girl set herself ablaze here on Wednesday after she was allegedly raped by her uncle who has started blackmailing her saying he would release the video clips.
Police said the accused, who is running a private school in the city, was absconding and the family members, despite being aware of the incident, kept quiet for fear of their family reputation getting damaged.
The girl had set herself on fire in her house after her parents left for work. The neighbours rescued her by breaking open the door. However, she died before reaching the hospital.
A suicide note left behind narrated the shocking tale of sexual abuse she faced within the family.
“On September 5, 2016, the girl had visited her aunt’s house and when she was alone at home her uncle offered her a cool drink in which he had mixed some tablets. She soon fell unconscious after which he raped her. He had also threatened her that he would release the video he had taken if she spilled the beans,” said a police officer who is privy to the victim’s suicide note.
Intimidated, the girl remained silent for more than five months. She suffered depression and had attempted suicide one-and-a-half months ago, but was rescued by her family.
Later, the girl opened up about the incident to her parents and relatives who warned the rapist and told her to remain silent to keep the family reputation intact, a police officer said.
“But the uncle never stopped. He kept contacting the girl over phone and threatened her of releasing the videos if she did not have sex with him,” he said, adding that the man’s wife (sister of the girl’s father) too had threatened the girl once over phone for accusing her husband.
For the last two days, she had been facing continuous threats from her uncle that he would upload the videos. That finally drove the girl to end her life.
On Wednesday, the girl’s father, a vegetable vendor, had gone to work, and her elder brother had gone to drop her mother at work. The girl was alone at home when she set her self ablaze.
Hearing her screams, the neighbours broke open the door and saw the girl in flames. They rushed the girl to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital where the doctors declared her dead on arrival, said the officer, narrating the incident.
A case has been registered under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code and section 4 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Police have launched a hunt for the girl’s uncle who has a 12-year-old daughter. Police are probing if the man had indulged in subjecting any of the students in the school he runs to similar harassment.