15-year-old girl ‘raped and set on fire’ battles for life with 95 per cent burns

Doctors at Safdarjung Hospital said the girl was brought with around 95 per cent thermal burns and a history of sexual assault. Doctors said she continued to be extremely critical at about 8.30 pm in the burns ICU.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee , Aditi Vatsa | Greater Noida/ New Delhi | Updated: March 8, 2016 7:18 am
Police deployed at the village. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav) Police deployed at the village. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped and set ablaze on the terrace of her house in a village in Gautam Buddh Nagar district in the early hours Monday, said police. She is battling for life at Safdarjung Hospital with 95 per cent burn injuries. A 20-year-old man from the village has been picked up for questioning in the case, said police.

Doctors at Safdarjung Hospital said the girl was brought with around 95 per cent thermal burns and a history of sexual assault. Doctors said she continued to be extremely critical at about 8.30 pm in the burns ICU.

“There are around 95 per cent burns across her body. Only the upper portion of her face and head is left, otherwise every part of her body is charred. Our priority now is to control the infection. In such high burns cases, this is
a huge challenge,” said a senior doctor in the burns department.

Poonam Dhanda, PRO of Safdarjung Hospital, said, “Doctors are trying their best to control the spread of infection.” Doctors said she was referred after initial treatment at a local government hospital.

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Hospital sources said based on the family’s account, doctors had noted a history of sexual assault in her medical papers, but could not perform any examination due to the grievous nature of her burns.

“Even her genitalia is burnt severely. At this point in time, medical examination to confirm assault is not possible. So it has been noted in the history based on her family’s account,” said a doctor.

According to Gautam Buddh Nagar police, the incident took place around 2.30 am on Monday.

“Her parents rushed to the terrace after they heard someone crying. They found the girl in a burnt state. A PCR call was made by some residents. The police rushed her to the district hospital in Gautam Buddh Nagar from where she

was rushed to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi due to the severity of her burn injuries,” said Abhishek Yadav, Superintendent of Police (Rural), Gautam Buddh Nagar.

A student of Class X, the girl dropped out of school last year after the 20-year-old suspect started stalking and harassing her, alleged her family.

“After she dropped out of school, we got her enrolled at a tuition centre where she was learning computer science. However, this man continued to stalk her. After we came to know about this from her teachers, we asked her to stay at home. She stopped taking tuition classes,” said her father.

An FIR against unknown persons under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 452 (house trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered, said the police.

While the police maintained the girl was in no condition to give a statement, her family claimed she was repeating the name of the suspect.

The family hails from Bihar and has been living in the Gautam Buddh Nagar village for more than 15 years, said sources.

The suspect’s family also hails from Bihar and has been in the village for nearly 17 years, added the sources.

Doctors fight to control infection

New Delhi: The girl has been put on a high dose of antibiotics and is being administered fluids, said a doctor. “Our priority is to control the spread of infection in her blood which can lead to multi-organ failure and be life threatening. She already has signs of septicemia or infection in her blood stream. She is also being given fluids to maintain her body’s electrolyte balance,” added the doctor. ENS