‘Set On Fire After Failed Gang-Rape Attempt,’ Says Student Who Was Found Naked On Highway

The BA second-year student was admitted to a hospital in the district and later referred to Lucknow.
ablaze rape case
Representative Picture

A day after a college student was found naked and severely burnt near a national highway in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, she has claimed she was set on fire after a failed attempt to gang-rape her.

The girl told investigators that three people tried to rape her in a field near Rai Kheda village on Monday and when they did not succeed, they poured kerosene and set her on fire, Superintendent of Police S Anand said.

The BA second-year student was admitted to a hospital in the district and later referred to Lucknow.

The police officer, however, added that she frequently changed her statements and also said that she was not aware of how she reached the hospital from the third floor of her college building.

In CCTV footage, the girl — a student of a college run by a trust of former union minister Swami Chinmayanand — was seen coming down alone from the third floor, the police said.

“Investigations with the help of CCTV footage have found that the girl went out of the college campus from a broken outer wall about 20 minutes after entering the premises and was seen walking alone on a canal road,” Anand said.

Prior to that, the girl could be seen talking to her friends outside a classroom and visiting a library, the SP said.

Three teams led by deputy superintendents of police (Dy SPs) as well as a SOG team have been deployed. Besides, another team led by a Dy SP with five policemen is present in Lucknow’s SPM Civil Hospital where she is undergoing treatment for 72 per cent burns. Earlier reports said she suffered 60 per cent burns.

After recording the girl’s statement in Lucknow, the investigating officer will take up the matter, the SP said.

Over a dozen students of the college, including her friends, have been questioned.

The girl had called one person from her village on a mobile phone on the day of the incident and he has also been questioned, the SP said.

According to Asif Ali, a resident of the village where she was found lying without clothes, the villagers had covered her with a stole before calling the police.

The SP said that in the field where she was lying, some tumblers were found but there was no trace of liquor.

The girl from a village in the Jalalabad police station area studies in Swami Shukdevanand Postgraduate College, run by Mumukshu Ashram of Chinmayanand.

The Ashram was in the centre of a controversy in 2019 after a female student of a law college run by it accused Chinmayanand of sexual assault.

However, the student later withdrew her charges against Chinmayanand, who was arrested in the case in September 2019 and released on bail nearly five months later.

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