TWO DAYS after a 23-year-old woman was allegedly set on fire by three persons at her home in northwest Delhi’s Bhalswa Dairy, doctors at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) — where she is admitted — said her condition was critical. With 90 per cent burns and deep wounds, doctors said her chances of recovery were bleak.
Dr P S Bhandari, consultant plastic surgeon at LNJP’s department of burns and plastic surgery, said, “The wounds which she has sustained will not heal on their own. When someone receives 90 per cent burns, most of the skin is gone and there is no undamaged skin for repair work. She is able to talk for now but the infection will spread in three to four days. We are taking special care of the woman, but we cannot say anything more at this stage.”
LNJP medical director Dr J C Passy said they are keeping a close watch as there are chances of organ failure.
According to police, the crime took place because she turned down a marriage proposal by the main accused, Abhishek.
A case was registered at Bhalswa Diary police station and Abhishek and two others were arrested. Two more persons were arrested Monday in connection with the incident, said an officer.
According to police, the incident took place on August 27. The accused, accompanied by about 16 people, barged into the woman’s home and started beating up her family with rods. DCP (northwest) Vijay Singh said, “Abhishek’s family and friends accompanied him to the girl’s house. Abhishek threatened the girl and took her to the first floor of the house. He poured kerosene on her and set her ablaze.” Police said the woman’s mother and brother also sustained injuries.
Abhishek, who runs a dairy business, used to harass the woman every time she went out, said police. She finally told her brother, who confronted Abhishek on Saturday afternoon. A fight ensued between the two. Police believe this was the trigger for the incident.
A relative of the woman, who is with her at the hospital, said the accused and his friends had been harassing her for the past 15 days. “Initially she ignored them. She finally told her brother and the harassment stopped for a while. But Abhishek then asked her to marry him.”
She added that the woman did not lodge a police complaint as she never expected Abhishek to resort to such extreme measures.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, who visited the woman in the hospital Monday, said, “The victim has 90 per cent burns but she is very brave. She is in tremendous pain. She wants to live; she wants the accused to be brought to justice.”
Police said the girl worked with an NGO.