Schoolgirl Set On Fire By Stalker Dies, Massive Protests In Jharkhand Town

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Chief Minister Hemant Soren announced Rs 10 lakh as monetary compensation for the family of the victim.

New Delhi:

On August 23, a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Jharkhand’s Dumka told her father about a young man who had been harassing her and went to sleep. A few hours later, she woke up to a sharp pain in her back and a burning odour.

The Class 12 student realised, to her horror, that her own body was on fire.

Her alleged stalker, Shahrukh Hussain, had set her on fire. She died on Sunday.

Shahrukh Hussain was seen in videos smirking as he was arrested by the police. 

The girl named him in her dying statement to a magistrate.

He called her on her mobile around 10 days back, pestering her to become his friend, she said, and attacked her when she rejected his advances.

He then called her again around 8 pm on Monday, threatening to kill her if she didn’t talk to him. 

“I informed my father about the threat, after which he assured me that he would talk to the man’s family on Tuesday. After having our dinner, we went to sleep. I was sleeping in another room. On Tuesday morning, I experienced a sensation of pain on my back and could smell something burning. I found him running away when I opened my eyes. I started screaming in pain and went to my father’s room. My parents doused the fire and took me to the hospital,” she said.

Her entire body except her face got burnt, she said, as she struggled to speak.

She also named another person, Chhotu Khan, who the police are interrogating in custody.

Large gatherings have been banned in Dumka following massive protests over her death.

The case has turned political, as the victim and the accused are from different communities. Opposition BJP has slammed the Chief Minister for “neglecting” women’s safety.

Faced with mounting criticism, the state has said the case will be fast-tracked. Chief Minister Hemant Soren announced that a top cop (at the level of Additional Director General of Police) will supervise the case; he also announced Rs 10 lakh as monetary compensation for the family of the victim.

The police said that the situation is normal and under control.

“The accused Shahrukh has been arrested. We’ll apply at fast track court for a fast trial. People are cooperating with us. We appeal to people to maintain peace. The situation is under control and Sec 144 has been imposed,” Dumka Superintendent of Police Ambar Lakda said.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren has called for the “strictest punishment” for the accused.

“Such people should not be forgiven, they should be given the strictest of punishments. Laws should be brought in to further strengthen the existing laws for such incidents. A lot of evil acts are being seen in society. This incident is heart-wrenching, and the law is taking its course. The accused has been arrested. It is our effort to see that he is punished at the earliest,” he said.

The Opposition BJP has slammed Mr Soren saying “thousands” of crimes against women have taken place in the state he became the Chief Minister.

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das also claimed there have been so-called “love jihad” cases among the tribals.

“It is very shameful for Jharkhand the way that boy entered the girl’s house, poured petrol and set her ablaze. There have been thousands of crimes against women in Jharkhand after Hemant Soren became Chief Minister. There are also love jihad cases among the tribal population. The people from Bangladesh are entering and marrying innocent tribal girls and usurping their land,” he said.



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