Indore: A rat has 'killed' a teenage girl in her kitchen in Azad Nagar! Sounds bizarre and unbelievable? But this is exactly what her family members have told the police citing the large numbers of rats that infest their home. Azad Nagar PS in-charge Manish Dabar said the family's claim of 'rat act' behind the girl's death would be ascertained in a probe. However, he ruled out any foul play in the incident. On Tuesday evening, Zoya, 15, a Class X student, was alone at home. Experiencing hunger pangs, she decided to heat some food on a kerosene stove. Little did it she know that it would be her last act. While she was busy heating her meal, the 'culprit' - later identified as a rat by the girl's family - got into the act on a shelf right above the stove. The rodent ran across the shelf and jumped onto a can containing kerosene and can fell off the shelf, loosening its cap in the process.

Before Zoya could make out what was happening, she was doused in kerosene which immediately caught fire from the burning stove. The girl was up in flames within a few seconds. As she cried for help, the neighbours rushed in. They covered her in a blanket to douse the flames and rushed her to a hospital. Her family members were also informed. She battled for life at the hospital through the night, but in vain.

The girl's family surmised that the girl's death had been caused by one of the many rats that had a free run of the house, including the shelf in the kitchen where the can was stored. Head constable Sukhmaniya, investigating officer, said that, in a preliminary statement, they had told the police that the kerosene-filled can was on a shelf on which the girl was heating her food. The family theorised that a rat had knocked the can off the shelf and onto the lighted stove, igniting the flames, which engulfed the girl. The can held 1 litre of kerosene, Sukhmaniya said. Police station-in-charge Dabar said the cops would record the family members' statements and investigate the case.

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