A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a youth and two teenagers at her Baruipur home and set on fire when she tried to escape on Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the neighbours were alerted by the cries of the girl and the unusual behaviour of her two-year-old sister, who was apparently in the room during the alleged gangrape and could only run away after the men left.
Chhattu Naskar, 20, and two boys in their teens, all residents of the Baruipur neighbourhood where the alleged victim lives, were picked up from their homes early on Wednesday.
“The accused, arrested following a complaint by the girl’s father, have been charged with rape and attempt to murder,” said K.P. Barui, the additional superintendent of police (east), South 24-Parganas.
Neighbours rescued the girl and took her to a nursing home in Garia, from where she was shifted to SSKM Hospital. “The girl has suffered 65-70 per cent burns. Her condition is very critical,” said Tamal Kanti Ghosh, the medical superintendent and vice-principal of SSKM Hospital.
The police said Chhattu and two boys, aged 14 and 15 years, had entered the thatched house on South Garia Road when the parents of the alleged victim were away on work.
“All three were known to the girl as their homes are within 500 metres of hers. They raped her in the presence of her two-year-old sister,” said an officer of Baruipur police station.
“When the victim tried to run out, the accused emptied a jar of kerosene on her and set her afire,” the officer added.
Chhattu is unemployed and the other boys study at a local school. The girl used to go to the same school but dropped out recently.
The girl’s father said the neighbours told him that they had been alerted by her cries and her two-year-old sister, who they said was trying to tell them something.
By the time the neighbours rushed in, the boys had left and the girl was engulfed in fire. One of the neighbours managed to wrap her in a blanket, carry her outside and throw her into a water body.