New Delhi: A 23-year-old woman who was set on fire Thursday morning by men accused of raping her in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, died last night at Safdarjung hospital in Delhi.
Doctors said she had suffered 90% burns after being set ablaze, and died of a cardiac arrest at the Safdarjung Hospital at 11:40 pm. She had been brought to Unnao District Hospital, then to Civil Hospital in Lucknow, and eventually been air-lifted from Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. A green corridor was set up for her transfer from the airport to the hospital. Doctors said she was critical on arrival, and had given her minimal chances of survival.
“She suffered cardiac arrest at 11:10 pm and we tried to resuscitate her, but she could not survive and at 11:40 pm she died,” said Dr Shalabh Kumar, Head of Burns Department at Safdarjung Hospital.
The woman had told the police she was beaten and stabbed before being set on fire by five men near her village in Unnao, including two she had accused of raping her and their fathers. She was on her way to a Rae Bareli court hearing in her rape complaint when the men surrounded her near a railway station.
Despite her severe injuries, the woman was conscious on the way to the hospital and gave a statement to the police identifying all five attackers.
“At 4 am I was going to a local railway station to catch a train to Rae Bareli. Five people (named) were waiting for me. They surrounded me and first hit me on the leg with a stick and also stabbed me in the neck with a knife. After that they poured petrol on me and set me on fire,” the woman told the police from her hospital bed in Unnao.
“When I started shouting, a crowd collected and the police was called,” she had said. The police say a medical report has not confirmed the stab injury, but the rest of her wounds are severe and the story is consistent. All five accused, including rape accused Shivam Trivedi and Shubham Trivedi, were arrested in raids carried out soon after the incident.
Shivam Trivedi, who was among the attackers, had been released on bail in the case a few days ago. His co-accused Shubham Trivedi, who had been missing, also participated in the attack, said the woman.
All five attackers were arrested from their homes.
The circumstances in which the woman’s rapist was released on bail are being questioned. So is the role of the police, who filed an FIR on her rape complaint in March, four months after she was allegedly gang-raped by Shivam Trivedi and his neighbor Subham Trivedi. She has named Shivam Trivedi, Shubham Trivedi, Harishankar Trivedi, Ram Kishore Trivedi, and Umesh Bajpai in the report.
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