Horrors of Unnao rape case shows why people have lost faith in the system
Photo: PTI

A 23-year-old woman who survived rape was on Thursday set ablaze by five men, including her alleged rapists, while she headed to Rae Bareli to attend a court hearing for the rape case filed by her. Late on Friday night she passed away in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital.

One of the two men accused of raping her last year was granted bail 10 days back. The other man had been on the run.

All the five men involved in Thursday morning's attack were arrested within hours. According to the police, the five men, identified as Shubham, Shivam, Harishankar, Umesh and Ram Kishore, had allegedly thrown kerosene on the woman and set her ablaze.

The victim ran for a kilometer with 90 per cent burns, in intense pain, crying for help and assistance, reports IANS. As per reports, after the incident with burn injuries, she took a bystander's mobile phone and called the emergency help number and police herself.

According to an NDTV report, the woman who was conscious on her way to the hospital gave a statement to the police identifying her attackers. Reportedly she had said that she was thrashed and stabbed before being set on fire near her village.

In a chilling recap, the woman had said in her statement to Sub Divisional Magistrate Dayashankar Pathak that she was attacked when she reached Gaura turn near her home.

She was taken to the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital in Lucknow and later airlifted to Delhi and admitted to Safdarjung Hospital. Police had provided a "green corridor" for hindrance-free movement of the ambulance carrying her from the airport to the hospital and the ambulance covered a distance of 13 km in 18 minutes. She was taken to a dedicated ICU, the hospital's medical superintendent had earlier said.

Earlier on Friday, Dr Kumar had described her condition "extremely critical". She was put on ventilator and her vitals were very low, he had said.

"Despite our best efforts, she did not survive. Her condition deteriorated towards the evening. She had a cardiac arrest at around 11:10 pm. We tried to resuscitate her, but she passed away around 11:40 pm," said Dr Shalab Kumar, Head of Burn and Plastic Surgery at the hospital.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier taken cognizance of the incident and said that the treatment of the victim will be carried out on government expenses and strict action will be taken against the accused.

The woman had alleged that Shivam and Shubham Trivedi had abducted and raped her in December 2018. The FIR, however, was registered in March. In a tweet, the Uttar Pradesh police had said the victim had lodged an FIR alleging that she had been raped between January 19 and December 12, 2018, by one of the accused on the pretext that he would marry her.

The accused was arrested then and got out on bail on November 25, police said. They had added that the probe into the incident is being conducted in a scientific manner and the circumstantial evidence collected.

Her death comes on the same day that the four accused in the gang-rape and murder case of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad were killed in an encounter with the Telangana police, triggering a tsunami of reactions across the spectrum -- ranging from appreciation to condemnation.

Now, many on social media are calling for a Hyderabad style encounter for the perpetrators of the crime in Uttar Pradesh by the UP Police.

Earlier, Unnao had been in the spotlight for similar reasons after another young woman had accused former BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar of raping her in 2017, when she was 17 years old.

(With inputs from agencies)

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