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Banda (UP): A man was arrested for allegedly raping and setting ablaze an 18-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh's Fatehpur city, police said on Sunday.

According to doctors, the woman sustained over 90 per cent burn injuries and her condition was critical.

An FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by the woman's family, and the accused was arrested for rape and attempt to murder, Fatehpur SP Prashant Verma said.

Additional Director General of Police (Allahabad zone) Sujeet Pandey said it was the woman who allegedly set herself ablaze when a 'panchayat' did not approve of her relationship with a distant relative.

When the matter of her relationship with the distant relative came to light, a panchayat was held in her village during which the woman and the man were made to take a pledge that they would live separately and not meet each other, the police officer said.

Upset over the panchayat's decision, the woman rushed to her house and allegedly set herself ablaze, he said.

District Magistrate Sanjeev Singh said that upon noticing smoke, villagers rescued the woman and took her to a local community health centre. Police said they are probing this aspect too.

Superintendent of Kanpur's Hallet Hospital R K Maurya said, "The condition of the 18-year-old woman from Fatehpur is extremely critical. She sustained over 90 per cent burn injuries. Only her feet were not burnt." Leader of Congress Legislature Party in Uttar Pradesh Aradhana Mishra and former Union minister Rajeev Shukla visited Hallet hospital in Kanpur, and enquired her well bring from her family members.

"On one hand, the BJP raises the slogan of 'Beti Bachaao, Beti Padhaao', and on the other hand, it is under the BJP government that maximum exploitation happens to women. If strict action is not initiated against the criminals, then such incidents cannot be stopped," Mishra said.

She also demanded that the family of the woman be given Rs 50 lakh as financial assistance, provided medical treatment free of cost, and security to her family.

On December 5, a rape survivor from Unnao was set ablaze by five people, including two accused of raping her. They were arrested the same day. The woman later died during treatment in a Delhi hospital.

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