A 14-year-old girl who set herself on fire after two boys at her school allegedly called her “ugly” died at the Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on Monday.
M Lavanya, a Class IX student of Pragati High School in Dommaguda village in Sangareddy district, poured kerosene and set herself on fire after at her home on January 2. She was taken to a hospital with 55 per cent burns. In her statement to a magistrate on January 4, she said that she was harassed by two of her classmates.
“She said that they constantly teased her because she was dark, and also called her ugly. When she fought with one of the boys on December 29, the boy apparently said, ‘I know what you are and I will tell everyone’. The girl went home and tried to slit her wrist on December 30, but did not succeed. On January 2, she complained to her school principal who, after noticing the cuts on her hand, chided her for trying to commit suicide. He also scolded her for not informing him earlier about the harassment,” Sub-Inspector, Gummadidala Police Station, G Prashant said.
“The boys are minors and have denied any wrong doing. We are taking legal opinion on what action can be taken against them. The girls in her class are not saying anything that can help with the investigation. Her father is a truck driver and although she was being harassed for the past six months, she did not tell anyone at home,” he added.
In her statement to the magistrate which is now being treated as a dying declaration, Lavanya said the principal was harsh with her when she went to complain.
“When I told him about the harassment, he did not take it seriously. He also scolded me and called me mental when I told him I tried to commit suicide. I thought I won’t get justice anywhere and went and set myself on fire,” the SI quoted her as saying in the statement.
The dying declaration would be submitted in Narsapur court after which police will initiate action.