KOLKATA: A woman’s charred body was found in a mango orchard in West Bengal’s Malda district on Thursday raising the suspicion that she was raped and set ablaze, said police. The deceased is yet to be identified as the body suffered severe burn injuries.
Local farmers in the English Bazar area spotted the body around 7 am lying beside a walkway in the mango orchard. "The upper part of the body was charred. The woman’s legs have not suffered burn injuries. A preliminary medical examination of the body suggested the victim was in her mid-20s," said a police officer.
Policemen who inspected the spot said a few matchsticks were found near the body. The victim’s shoes were also lying there.
Alok Rajoria, superintendent of police, Malda, said it could not be ascertained whether the woman was raped before being set on fire. "We have asked all police stations across the district to go through the missing complaints and contact the family members of those whose descriptions match with the deceased," he said.
The police sent the body for post-mortem. "We are waiting for the report of the autopsy surgeon to ascertain whether she was sexually abused," the SP said.
The incident came a week after a 25-year old veterinary doctor's charred body was found under a culvert at Shadnagar in Hyderabad on November 28. Four men, aged between 20 and 24, have been arrested on charges of raping and killing the woman.
Similar incidents were also reported from Buxar in Bihar and Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh over the past week.
Early on Thursday, a rape victim from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh was allegedly set ablaze by five men, including the one who was accused in the crime, police said.
(With Agency inputs)