In yet another case of alleged rape and criminal intimidation in Unnao, a 23-year-old woman on Monday attempted suicide by setting herself on fire outside the Superintendent of Police’s office after a 25-year-old accused was granted anticipatory bail in a case of alleged sexual assault on her for 10 years.
The woman has suffered 70 per cent burns and is admitted to Hallet Hospital in Kanpur after being transferred from a district hospital. The accused, Awadhesh Singh, was arrested for alleged abetment to suicide.
Eyewitnesses told the police that drenched in kerosene, the woman reached the main gate of the district police office on foot and lit herself in the morning. Enveloped in flames, she ran towards the police premises where the fire was doused by officers, said police. Unnao SP Vikrant Veer said she was critical.
In a similar case on December 5, another 23-year-old rape victim in Unnao was set on fire by five men, including two accused in the rape case of whom one was freed on bail a few days earlier. She was on her way to catch a train to Rae Bareli in connection with the rape case. She suffered 70 per cent burns and succumbed to her injuries the following day.
In the latest case, a case of rape and criminal intimidation against Singh, the main accused, and three others was lodged on October 2. Singh was granted anticipatory bail by the Allahabad High Court on November 28.
The police said that the primary investigation had revealed that the woman and the accused, both from the same village in Unnao, had known each other for 10 years.
“A resident of my village, Awadhesh Singh has been sexually harassing me for the last 10 years on the pretext of marriage and blackmailing me to extort money. When I asked him to marry me, he denied and threatened to kill me. I gave my complaint to the police station concerned, the district magistrate (DM) and the SP, but the FIR was not registered. Around 7.30 pm on September 30, Awadhesh Singh along with Raju, Sarvesh and his wife Rachna entered my house and tried to kill me. These people can kill me anytime and are pressurising me to compromise,” the victim had said in the rape complaint.
Later, the four had been booked under IPC sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation). During the bail hearing in the HC, the counsel of the accused had argued that the family filed a molestation case against another man in 2009 to extort money. The counsel added that a similar tactic was being used against his clients.
Unnao SP Vikrant Veer, meanwhile, said the charge sheet in the rape case had been filed on Friday by sub-inspector Ram Swarath Yadav, who is the investigating officer. While Singh was chargesheeted for rape, other accused were chargesheeted for criminal intimidation, said the SP.
The SP said he would know about the reason of the suicide attempt only after a magistrate recorded her statement.
A fresh FIR has been registered against Singh under section 306 (abetment to suicide) of IPC.
The police said that the victim is a graduate and lives with her parents and two brothers, while the accused is an agricultural labourer.
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