A 44-year-old man died late Sunday night after he was set afire by three men accused of molesting his daughter in Hata town of Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district, his family alleged. According to family members of Narmada Sahu, the accused had allegedly been harassing his daughter for a long time and he had lodged a complaint in this regard at Hata Police Station more than two months ago. They also alleged that the accused had been pressuring him to withdraw the complaint.
On Sunday, Narmada had an altercation with the accused over the complaint, following which they allegedly poured kerosene on him and set him on fire, his family alleged. He was rushed to a district hospital, nearly 40 kilometres away, where he succumbed to his injuries.
In a purported video recorded before his death, Narmada accused three youths of setting him ablaze.
The police has arrested Sachin Sahu and his accomplices Ramkumar and Rajkumar on a complaint lodged by the victim’s wife. Damoh SP Vivek Agarwal, however, told The Indian Express that the victim’s teenaged daughter had denied that she was molested. He also claimed that no molestation complaint had been lodged at the police station.
According to police, the accused claimed Narmada doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ajay Singh alleged the police was trying to down play the incident by citing old rivalry as the motive. He alleged authorities did not act on the molestation complaint under pressure from the accused. Singh also alleged that the accused had been threatening to set afire Narmada and his family members, but police did not act.