Youth sets girl on fire

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 9.12.14

A 26-year-old youth allegedly poured kerosene on an 18-year-old girl who police said had rejected his marriage proposal and set her on fire at her home on Monday morning.

The girl, a Higher Secondary examinee, has been admitted to a state-run hospital with burns on the upper part of her body.

Police said Mohammad Imtiaz entered the girl's house in Belur's Kashi Mondal Lane when she was alone around 8.30am. Imtiaz, a resident of the area, is yet to be arrested.

"A preliminary probe has revealed that the girl turned down a marriage proposal from the accused. The assault is the fallout of that," said an officer of Belur police station.

The girl lost her father eight years ago and lives with her mother, who earns a living as a domestic help. Their relatives live in adjacent shanties.

An aunt of the girl who lives in the neighbourhood said she was washing utensils in front of her shanty when she heard her niece's screams. "I saw a youth run out of the house, part of his shirt in flames. He managed to douse the fire and run away," the aunt said.

"Around the same time my niece ran out, too, crying in pain. I splashed water on her with a bucket and put out the flames."

The shanty where the girl lives can be accessed from two lanes - one in front and the other at the rear. The aunt, who was washing utensils in the front lane, did not see Imtiaz enter the girl's house.

"The statement of the witness suggests that the accused had entered the house from the rear lane," the officer said.

The police as well as doctors at Bally's TL Jaiswal Hospital, where the victim has been admitted, said the injuries were not critical as the aunt managed to douse the fire in time.

The girl told doctors that Imtiaz barged into her room while she was alone and asked whether she would marry her.

When the girl turned down the proposal, Imtiaz allegedly took out a bottle and sprinkled kerosene from it on her before setting her ablaze with a matchstick. The police said some kerosene fell on Imtiaz's shirt, too.

The girl's uncle said she had complained to him about the youth earlier. "She told me that he used to harass her on her way to tuition. I asked her to ignore him," he said. "She is struggling to complete her education."

The officer at Belur police station said a case under "attempt to murder" charge has been started. "We are looking for Imtiaz."