Muslim Woman Set Ablaze in Bihar village Succumbs to Burns in Hospital, Family Demands Justice

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Family protesting along with the dead body on road outside hospital in Patna. Photo via WhatsApp

 The case registered invoked different Sections of IPC, including 307 (attempt to murder), 354 (B) (Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe)

 Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India 

NEW DELHI — A 20-year-old Muslim woman succumbed to her serious burns at the Patna Medical College Hospital on Sunday two weeks after she was allegedly set on fire by three men in Rasoolpur Habib village of Vaishali district in Desri police limits in Bihar.

The victim’s mother said the trio allegedly attacked her when she was outside her roadside home discarding garbage on October 30 (Friday) at around 5 pm.

She said they were forcing her daughter to agree to their marriage proposal. She told them she was a Muslim and she cannot accept their demands. “They threatened to kill her.”

She said they poured kerosene oil her and set her on fire which left her with burn injuries. She was rushed to Samprabhu Hospital in Hajipur, the main town of the district.

The police reached the hospital a few hours later and recorded the complaint made by the deceased at 10 pm.

According to the complaint, three men Satish Kumar, Chandan Kumar  and Vinay Kumar approached the woman while she was standing near a dustbin and tried to harass her. When she resisted, one of the three took out a kerosene bottle from his pocket and poured on the woman. Then they set her ablaze, using a matchstick.

Caught in fire, the woman started crying and screaming which caught the attention of the passersby but the three miscreants fled the scene.  The crowd smothered the flames and took the woman to hospital.

The copy of the complaint reads that the police have forwarded the complaint for instituting a case under Sections 354 (B) and 307/ 34 IPC (attempt to murder).

The complaint copy marked by the police further reads that the police registered a case vide case no 308/2020 in police station Desri (Chandpura) under Section 341 (wronglful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 307(attempt to murder), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons), 354 (B) (Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) 34 IPC (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

After some days she was shifted to medical college Patna for better treatment where she lost her battle with life on Sunday.

When Clarion India contacted the Desri (Chandpura) Police Station, an official confirmed the incident and said the investigations were under way. However, before being asked whether they have invoked Section 302 IPC (murder) after the deceased succumbed to burns and whether any arrests have been made, he dropped the call.

Repeated attempts to reach out to the district magistrate and Superintendent of Police Vaishali via phone failed.

Meanwhile, the family has been demanding strict punishment against the accused. Shortly after the woman was declared dead at Patna Medical College Hospital, the family members came out with the body on the road in Patna and started protesting. The social media is splattered with images of the victim as netizens h been raising their voice for justice.

Bihar Youth Congress leader Mashkoor Usmani who spoke with the victim’s family demanded that Nitish Kumar before taking  oath scheduled for today should take action on this case. “The oath for Chief Minister’s Chair is meant to promise justice and protection to everyone. He should walk the talk now,” he said while speaking with Clarion India.

Bihar recently witnessed assembly election in which the BJP- JDU alliance emerged victorious.

Usmani said the family is economically very poor and it will be difficult for them to fight for justice.  He alleged that the family told him she was not given proper care in the hospital which aggravated her injuries resulting in her death.

(Nehal Ahmad Contributed to this report)

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