An Indian man sets Nepali girl on fire for refusing to elope with him

Girl on fire

An Indian man allegedly set on fire a 16-year-old Nepalese girl after she refused to elope with him, leaving her with serious burn injuries.

23-year-old Babu Khan, a resident of Baharaich in Uttar Pradesh, poured petrol over the girl in Bardiya district of western Nepal near the Indian border yesterday, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Keshav Adhikari said today.

The man, who was arrested after the incident, set the girl on fire after she refused to elope with him against the wish of her parents, he said.

The girl has been admitted to hospital and her condition is said to be critical. Doctors attending on her said she has suffered 90 per cent burns.

Khan, police claimed, has admitted that he had set the girl ablaze.

Khan, who had long been courting the girl for marriage, worked as a mechanic in a local motorcycle garage. He was living near the girl's house.

The victim had told Khan that she would marry him only if her parents agreed to the match and refused to elope with him, police said.

They said the girl's brother, Tanvir Ahmed, had warned Khan to stay away from his sister.

Khan had earlier agreed to leave the girl alone during a compromise reached in the presence of police on Thursday.

"In our community, we don't let the female members of our house to venture outside without the permission of the elders. So there was no chance of him meeting my sister. But, Khan continued to harass my sister on phone," Ahmed told police.

At around 6 am yesterday, Khan walked to the girl's house, poured petrol on her and set her on fire, police claimed.

The girl's family members were asleep during the incident.

"The doctors have referred her to Kathmandu for further treatment, but we cannot afford that," said Tanvir.

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