Torched girl dies, mom reveals chilling call
A college girl whom a stalker had set on fire on an Uttarakhand roadside before calling and taunting her mother died on Sunday morning at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital after a weeklong battle for life.
“He had called me on the phone and said he had set my daughter on fire, adding, ‘Save her if you can’,” her mother had told reporters at her home in village Palli in Pauri Garhwal district.
On Thursday, a Dalit Class X girl who had been set alight by two motorcycle-borne assailants three days earlier in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, too died at Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi.
The 18-year-old second-year BSc student in Uttarakhand was returning home from her college on her two-wheeler on December 16 when Manoj Singh aka Banti, 31, from neighbouring Gahad followed her and forced her to stop.
Eyewitnesses say that when she tried to resist his sexual aggression, Banti poured petrol on her and set fire to her.
After being shifted from one hospital to the other in the state, with 70 per cent burns, she was flown to Delhi on Wednesday on chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s orders.
“My daughter had scolded Manoj two years ago in the presence of many villagers. Later, some villagers had warned him not to stalk her. He committed this crime to take revenge,” her mother said.
Jagat Ram Joshi, senior superintendent of police, said: “The accused is a taxi driver. It was a case of one-sided love. The accused was arrested and sent to jail the day the crime was committed.”
In Agra, the 15-year-old victim from village Lalau was returning home from her intermediate college when two young men, faces covered with helmets, doused her with petrol and tossed a lighted cigarette lighter on her.
She was admitted to the local S.N. Medical College Hospital with 75 per cent burns and later shifted to Delhi. Agra police have yet to arrest the accused or ascertain their motive.