A 19-year-old woman from Jharkhand’s Dumka district, who was set on fire over an unrequited proposal on August 23 had appealed for justice before succumbing to her injuries in the early hours of Sunday. Her death triggered protests in Dumka, following which prohibitory orders were placed in the town.
Police said the accused, Shahrukh Hussain (19) had been harassing the woman for several months and even threatened to kill her if she did not reciprocate her proposal.
Narrating the victim’s statement, Dumka SP Ambar Lakra said, the woman was sleeping at home by a window that faced a sidewalk connecting to the main road. In the wee hours of August 23, the accused poured petrol on her through the window and set her on fire. She screamed for help and saw the accused running. The police have recorded her dying declaration.
The accused Shahrukh was arrested on the same day, while the victim girl succumbed to her on August 28. SP Ambar Lakra said the police would apply at fast track court for a speedy trial.
On the intense protests, the SP said, “People are cooperating with us. We appeal to people to maintain peace. The situation is under control and Section 144 has been imposed.”
Victim makes appeal for justice
Before succumbing to her injuries during treatment at the hospital, the victim narrated the horrific incident to Republic and appealed for justice.
She said, “I complained to my father about Shahrukh and he spoke to the stalker’s brother. His family my father that Shahrukh is a goon. The same night I got a call from him where he threatened to kill me. I immediately informed my father and he said he will look into the matter the next day. But at around 4 AM, he threw petrol at me through the window, lit a fire, and ran away.”
She said the accused was accompanied by another man named Chhotu.
The victim’s friends, who were aware of Shahrukh’s threats, said he had been harassing the woman for 3 years. “He kept forcing her to speak to him. When she rejected his advances, he threatened to kill her. She informed her father about this and he was about to take action against the boy. However the very next morning, the accused splashed petrol on her and set her on fire.”
Appealing for justice, they said the man should be punished the same way he tortured the victim.