A girl, who was allegedly set on fire by three men after she had attempted to escape molestation at their hands, succumbed at Kabir Chaura Divisional Hospital in Varanasi early Friday. The incident was reported from Lallapura locality at Varanasi’s Sigra area on December 18.
Station Officer (Sigra) Shivanand Mishra said: “The postmortem is about to be completed. All the three accused, who were earlier booked for alleged molestation and causing burn injuries, will now be booked for murder. They have already been arrested and were sent to jail five days ago.” The girl had suffered over 60 per cent burns.
The FIR lodged on the complaint of the victim’s mother had alleged that the 19-year-old was being harassed and stalked by the three accused over a period of time. Following this, she had even stopped going to school. She had added that the three entered their house on December 18 and set her daughter on fire by pouring kerosene on her.
Police claimed that investigations had revealed a history of litigation between the girl’s family and the accused. “I had gone on leave in between. But it had come to light that there was a history of litigation among the two families. I cannot, however, comment immediately on the exact nature and gravity of the same,” said SP (City), Sudhakar Yadav.
Police sources said that the three accused — Babu Dan (55), Pappu (45), both brothers, and Gappu (43), a relative — worked as labourers in a power loom. Babu Dan is father of nine daughters and six grand daughters. Others are also married and have large families.
Gappu, sources added, acted as a police informer, as he had good knowledge of the area and the people. The victim’s father, also from a poor background, had alleged that criminal cases were registered against his son because “he had some issues with a police informer”.
However, police records claimed that a historysheet was opened against the girl’s brother in 2009 after his involvement in a vehicle theft case, in which six stolen vehicles were recovered, and a subsequent act of hurling bomb at the police post.
He was reportedly exonerated in the vehicle theft case.
“The fight between the two families was over minor issues. The prime contention was that the family of the accused was a witness to a fight between the victim’s brother and another person,” said a source.
Police sources also claimed that during investigation, the presence of the accused at the crime spot was yet to be verified. The police are now awaiting the postmortem examination report before proceeding further in the case.