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Uttar Pradesh: Woman molested, set on fire for attempting to file police complaint; NHRC takes suo motu cognisance

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday sent notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state's police chief over a married woman being set ablaze allegedly by her tormentors, when she was going to lodge a police complaint against them.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has also directed the Uttar Pradesh police chief to apprise it of action taken in the case.

On 29 November, the 26-year-old woman was allegedly molested by two brothers and when she tried to approach the police to get an FIR lodged, the duo allegedly caught hold of her, sprinkled kerosene on her body and set her ablaze.

 Uttar Pradesh: Woman molested, set on fire for attempting to file police complaint; NHRC takes suo motu cognisance

Representational image. PTI

The woman was admitted to the district hospital with 40-45 percent burn injuries, Inspector General of Police (IG), Zone, Sujit Pandey said.

"She appears to have fallen prey to police personnel's apathy and sheer negligence," the NHRC observed in a statement on Monday.

"The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports that a woman, subject to molestation, was set ablaze by her tormentors, when she was going to lodge a written complaint with the police station about them as suggested by the Police Control Room van personnel in Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh on 1 December," it said.

Reportedly, in her recorded statement before a magistrate at the hospital, the woman named the two accused and narrated the "inaction of the local police personnel," the NHRC statement said.

The Commission has observed that the content of the media reports, if true, amount to gross violation of human rights as the public servants appear to have "failed" to execute their duty to safeguard the victim woman from the rowdy elements.

Accordingly, the NHRC has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and the director general of police, seeking a detailed report, including action taken against the alleged delinquent police officials.

"The Commission would also like to know about present condition of the victim and status of medical treatment being provided to her.  The response is expected within four weeks," the rights panel said.

Meanwhile, the NCW termed the incident and the alleged police apathy "deeply disturbing" and sent a notice to the DGP directing him that the matter be fairly investigated and appropriate action be taken to avoid occurrence of similar incidents in future.

"The UP DGP has also been directed to apprise the Commission about condition of the victim and the detailed action taken in the matter," the NCW said in a tweet.

On 29 November, the woman, who is married, was allegedly molested by two brothers — Ramu, 32 and Rajesh, 28, the police said.

Reportedly, they made lewd remarks and tried to molest the victim on 29 November, but she somehow managed to escape and approached the police station, from where the police personnel sent her back without any action, the NHRC said.

The family members of the woman alleged that for two days, her complaint was not accepted by the police at the post concerned and also at the Tambore police station.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Prabhakar Chowdhury said three policemen, including Tambore Station House Officer (SHO) Om Prakash Saroj and outpost in-charge Manoj Kumar were suspended. Both the brothers were arrested, IG Pandey said.

"Had timely action been taken by them (the police), the woman could have been saved from the brutal attack by the miscreants, who seemingly gathered more courage to attack her due to inaction by the police personnel," the NHRC observed.

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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2018 08:31:42 IST

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