A protester holds a candle and placard seeking an end to sexual violence against women. (AP File Photo)
Days after the rape and murder of a teenager in Chatra two days ago, another 16-year-old girl is battling for her life with 70% burn injuries after being raped and set ablaze in a village in Jharkhand’s Pakur district, over 400 km northeast of the state capital Ranchi.
The survivor is under treatment in a hospital in Berhampur in West Bengal because of its proximity to Pakur. This is the second case this week of a minor being sexually assaulted and set on fire in Jharkhand. Fifteen people were arrested from a village in Chatra district on Saturday in connection with alleged rape and murder case on Friday.
The crime in Pakur, took place on Friday but was reported to the police on Saturday. The Pakur district police have arrested a neighbour named Bacchan Mondal in the case and sent him to judicial custody.
The family in its complaint said Bacchan Mondal entered the house while she was alone and committed the crime. Later he also attempted to set her ablaze by pouring kerosene oil on her before escaping.
Pakur sub-divisional police officer Shrawan Kumar said, “A team of police officers has been constituted and has been sent to Berhampur in West Bengal where the girl is undergoing treatment at a private hospital for recording her statement.”
Authorities have removed officer-in-charge of the Mufassil police station for showing ‘indifferent attitude in taking action against the accused’.
“The case has been handed over to Indu Sekher Jha, inspector-cum-officer-in-charge of Sadar police station for further investigation. A case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act besides other relevant sections of IPC has also been filed with the Mufassil police station,” Kumar added.
The survivor who is a 10th standard student in a government school was staying with her maternal uncle for pursuing academics.
The victim was alone when she was attacked. Her family members had lodged a complaint with the police. “On the basis of the complaint, the accused has been arrested and sent to jail. Though the incident took place on Friday it was reported to police on Saturday,” said Kumar.
“However, hearing her screams few neighbors rushed to her rescue and then she was taken to a private hospital for specialized treatment,” the SDPO said.-HT