Haryana again: 15-yr-old Dalit rape victim attempts suicide

A 15-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly raped by her neighbour on January 5, attempted suicide by setting herself on fire at Kharkhauda in Sonepat district of Haryana, police said Saturday.

The girl, a class 10 student, set herself on fire on Friday when her parents were not at home. She sustained more than 90 per cent burns and was admitted to PGIMS, Rohtak.

"The girl is in a critical condition," SP, Sonepat, Anil Nehra told PTI, adding that the girl in her statement before a Magistrate on Friday alleged that she was raped by her neighbour Rakesh, a taxi driver, five days ago.

Nehra said the accused was arrested within an hour of registration of FIR lodged by the mother of the victim and a case of abduction, rape and criminal intimidation has been slapped on him. Since the victim is a Dalit community, the provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were also included in the FIR.

According to the police, the girl set herself on fire on Friday when her father, a vegetable vendor, and mother were not at home. Some neighbours who heard her screams broke into the house and rushed her to Sonepat's civil hospital from where she was referred PGIMS, Rohtak.

"The victim was allegedly raped by the accused on January 5, but she narrated the incident to her mother on Friday morning, after which she was scolded by her parents. Terrified, as the accused had threatened her with dire consequences, she decided to take the extreme step," Balbir Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (City), Sonepat, said.

The DSP said that Rakesh had picked the girl from her school in Sonepat on January 5 in a taxi, taken her to a secluded spot and allegedly raped her.

This is the second such incident in the recent months when a rape victim attempted suicide by immolating self. A minor girl had committed suicide in Jind district's Sachhakhera village last year after being allegedly gangraped by her neighbours. After media highlighted the incident, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had met the victim's family in the village and assured them speedy justice.

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