Girl set ablaze for resisting rape attempt.

The tragic tale of the 13-year-old Dalit girl, who died at a private hospital in Hyderabad on Thursday night after fighting for life for nearly four weeks after she was set ablaze allegedly by a 25-year-old married man for resisting his rape attempt at his house here on September 18, sparked renewed demands from women’s organisations for extreme punishment for the accused and quick justice.

The victim, who worked as domestic help at the house of the accused Allam Maraiah, of Mustafanagar here, suffered around 70% burns after the latter allegedly poured petrol on her before setting her ablaze when she resisted his attempt to rape her.

The gruesome incident came to light around 15 days after the actual crime as the accused, who hails from the same community as the victim, admitted her to a local private hospital clandestinely and tried to cover up the crime by resorting to intimidating tactics in connivance with some community leaders.

For nearly a fortnight, the girl suffered in silence at the private hospital, the management of which kept the matter confidential and treated the injured girl in the regular ward, devoid of a specialised burns ward.

The incident came to light belatedly on October 5 after a video clip containing the ordeal of the girl went viral on social media.

The girl’s statement from the hospital bed narrating her heart-wrenching ordeal shook the entire district and triggered public anger.

Following public outcry, the authorities shifted the girl to Osmania General hospital in Hyderabad the same day and a few days later moved her to a private hospital in the State capital for better treatment.

The district health authorities sealed Sri Pooja hospital in Khammam on October 8 for failing to inform the police about the medico legal case.

Acting on a complaint by the minor girl’s father on October 5, the Khammam one town police booked Maraiah under the provisions of the POCSO Act and other relevant sections of the IPC.

On October 6, Marraiah was arrested and produced before a local court. The accused was remanded in judicial custody for two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Khammam rural police made tight security arrangements at Pallegudem, the native place of the victim, ahead of the funeral of the girl likely to be performed by her family members this afternoon.

Activists of the AIDWA and several other women’s and mass organisations took to the streets in Khammam demanding speedy trial in the case and quick justice to the victim’s family.

When contacted, the Khammam Assistant Commissioner of Police Anjaneyulu told The Hindu that the case against Maraiah will be modified into a murder case and it will be investigated expeditiously as per procedures.



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