Ankita Kumari from Jharkhand’s Dumka district, who was set on fire by a stalker after she did not reciprocate his proposal, succumbed to her burn injuries early on Monday. The police said they have arrested two accused – Shahrukh Khan and Chhotu Khan – in connection with the attack.
A student of Class 12, Ankita had been first admitted to Phulo Jhano Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition. She was later referred to Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) for better treatment. Soon after the incident came to light, people were seen protesting in the streets of Dumka.
As the district observed total bandh for the second consecutive day on Monday, Ankita was cremated in the presence of a large number of police personnel. The funeral procession started from her Jaruadih residence and was escorted by Deputy Commissioner of Police and Superintendent of Police.
Dumka Superintendent of Police (SP) Ambar Lakda said, “The situation is under control but section 144 has been imposed. We will apply at the fast track court for trial. People are cooperating with us.” Jharkhand health minister Banna Gupta said stringent action.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to Ankita’s family and said he has asked the additional director general of police to investigate the case and submit a report immediately. He said that the district administration has been directed to request the district and sessions judge to hold speedy trial of the matter in a fast track court.
Ankita had complained to her parents about Shahrukh. On the night of August 22, she told her father that Shahrukh threatened to kill her if she did not accept his offer of friendship. Her father promised her that he would take up the issue the next morning with his parents. However, at 5 am, Shahrukh poured petrol on her from the window, she said in her dying declaration.
Former minister and BJP leader from Dumka, Loius Marandi, alleged that Ankita had complained against Shahrukh earlier but the police failed to take timely action. She apprehended that the girl was the target of ‘love jehad’. Echoing Marandi’s views, former chief minister Raghuwar Das alleged that the girl did not get protection as the accused were Muslims.
Hemant Soren was elected to the state assembly from Dumka in addition to Barhet constituency. He quit Dumka and his younger brother Basant Soren was elected as JMM candidate in the subsequent by-elections. Das regretted that neither the CM nor his brother visited Ankita’s family.