Unnao: Rape survivor dies after accused set her on fire

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - Rape victim: Picture for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: IANS

New Delhi: After battling for life at Delhi's Safdarjung hospital, the Unnao rape survivor who was set ablaze while on her way to a court hearing on Thursday morning, died at 11:40 pm on Friday.

Who was she?

The 23-year old girl was a rape survivor and had filed a case in March alleging that one of the accused had raped her in 2018. She accused two men, Shivam and Shubham Trivedi, of raping her in December last year.

The hearings for the case were ongoing, when one of the prime accused, Shubam, was released on bail. According to the police statement, the young girl and her family had started getting threats from him since his release.

On Thursday, the girl was on her way to Rae Bareli court for the case when she was abducted and later set on fire by five men, two of whom were the accused in her rape case.

Harishankar Trivedi, Ram Kishore Trivedi, Umesh Bajpai, Shivam and Shubham Trivedi were the perpetrators of the heinous act, the last two are the prime accused in the rape case.

Plea for help

The victim ran for a kilometer even as she burned crying for help and assistance. As per reports, after the incident, she took a bystander's mobile phone and called the emergency help number and police herself.

Some media reports dated December 6 were doing rounds claiming that Unnao rape victim was beaten with sticks and stabbed with knives. "As per the medical report the rape victim has not received any external or internal injury and have only evidence of burn injuries," clarified Uttar Pradesh government in a statement.

She was airlifted out of the state to Safdarjung hospital in the capital where she was undergoing treatment. Some media reports dated December 6 were doing rounds claiming that Unnao rape victim was beaten with sticks and stabbed with knives. "As per the medical report the rape victim has not received any external or internal injury and have only evidence of burn injuries," clarified Uttar Pradesh government in a statement.

The girl died on Friday night of a cardiac arrest, after 43 hours of treatment.

Social media fury

Twitter is abuzz with #unnaorape with netizens now calling for a Hyderabad-style encounter for the perpetrators of the crime in Uttar Pradesh by the UP Police. The four accused involved in the brutal gang-rape and murder of woman veterinary doctor in Telegana were killed in an encounter with police early morning on Friday - police said it was 'retaliatory' action after the accused attacked the police and tried to escape.

"Unnao rape victim could not survive from burn injuries. How UP police is going to act now? Will it follow the precedent set by Hyderabad police? Accused is out already on bail...Let's see, how justice prevails and law takes its own course from here", said a tweet.

"RIP Unnao victim, hope with your life you will help redefine witness protection in our country", a netizen said.

"On the day when #unnaorape survivor is set on fire, four rape accused in telangana rape case are killed in an encounter by police, without trial", said another tweet..

"UP police you know what to do next". "karo encounter", is the sentiment on twitter.

Another tweet said, "It's not a good reflection on part of the @UPGovt & @Uppolice! The threat was known and it could have taken steps to ensure a safe place elsewhere. Was tht not possible? She fought for justice, but the authorities have failed her!".

More cases like this one

Stating that the Hyderabad and Unnao incidents of atrocities against women have touched her heart, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday called for strengthening laws regarding such happenings and said strong action would be taken in the Malda case once the post-mortem report was available.

The charred corpse of a young girl was found in a mango orchard in Dhantala area under Englishbazar police station of Malda on Thursday. Police have said there were injures to the victim's private parts.

"An incident has happened in Malda. Let me get the post-mortem report first. Police have already taken up the case," Banerjee said referring to Union Minister Smriti Irani talking of the incident in the Lok Sabha during the day.

"Our police are not idle. We are not like the BJP government. Whether it is a rape incident or not we can ascertain only after getting the post-mortem report," she said.

"All actions will be taken after receiving the post-mortem report. These incidents same us. There are some border areas, at times such incident happens. We have to take immediate action," she added.

"At times some incidents happen, which we don't support. But laws should be strengthened," she said.

Banerjee said after her government came to power in the state, it created a record by submitting charge sheet in a rape case of South Dinajpur district in the fast track court in three days.

She said police have been given standing instructions to file the charge sheet within 10 days and warned of action if it was not done.

Unnao victim's family

The Uttar Pradesh Police have deployed a police team including one Sub-Inspector and two Constables at the residence of Unnao rape survivor.

"A police team including one Sub-Inspector and two Constables have been deployed at her (victim's) residence permanently as a precautionary measure. We will take the case to its logical end," Praveen Kumar, IG, Law and Order, told reporters here on Friday.

Earlier, the victim's relatives claimed they received death threats and that the callers also threatened to burn their shop.

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