UP Police first refuses to lodge FIR, then blames gangrape victim of setting herself ablaze and lying

India on 16 July 2013
Location : Uttar Pradesh, India | Source : India Today. Image Source: India Today

A 20-year-old college student was gangraped and set on fire in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's home district Etawah on Thursday.

The victim, who was admitted to hospital with 80 per cent burns, was stated to be critical on Friday. 

Shockingly, the police not only initially refused to register a case but also appeared to have abdicated their responsibility to maintain law and order. The police brass expressed helplessness in curbing the rising incidents of rape in the state.

According to police files, this was the 126th incident of rape in the state in the last one week. In 20 of these cases, the victims were killed.


The victim is a resident of Desarmau village under Ekdil police station. According to the complaint lodged by her father, she had gone for morning ablution when a Farman Ahmed, a youth of the village who wanted to marry her, pulled her inside his house. 

He and his three friends - Mohammad Mehmood, Mohammad Shakeel and Mohammad Sabara - took turns to rape her and later then threatened her with dire consequences if she told her family.

When she told them that she would go to the police, the rapists sprinkled kerosene on her and set on fire. 

Eyewitnesses told the police that they saw her running out of the house in flames and rushed to help her. She was taken first to the village hospital and then shifted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, which has a burns ward, in the CM's village, Saifai. She is now fighting for life. 

The girl's father alleged that the police had refused to register a case against the rapists. Both the victim and the alleged rapists belong to the same community, but the men reportedly belong to affluent families and have political clout in the area.

"Farhan wanted to marry my daughter. But his family members were demanding dowry. So, my daughter had refused to marry him. But he was putting pressure on her to have physical relationship with him," the victim's father said.

Fearing that the incident could upset the ruling Samajwadi Party's Muslim agenda, the state police are trying to underplay it. They blamed the girl for setting herself on fire and also rejected the gangrape charge.

Cops blame girl

"Their marriage was fixed earlier, but Farhan's family was demanding dowry. The girl had gone to his house to convince them to agree for marriage. When they refused, she set herself on fire. It is also wrong that she was gangraped," said ADG, Law and Order, Arun Kumar. 

The police claimed that the villagers had said the girl herself sprinkled kerosene and tried to set afire to pressurise Farman, who was not interested in marrying her. She accidentally caught fire when the youth tried to snatch the matchstick from her.

The accused Farman and his family members have fled the village and efforts were on to nab them, police said. 

Infuriated over the incident, the locals tried to set Farman's house ablaze but the elders in the village reportedly mediated and brought the situation under control.

The police are facing flak for the rising cases of crime and the deteriorating law and order situation in UP, which has tarnished the image of the Samajwadi Party government.

ADG Kumar admitted that rape cases were increasing in the state, but expressed the helplessness of the police department and said it was not possible to prevent all such incidents. "The police are doing their duty. We are also taking action against the criminals and also the policemen who don't do their duties. But it is not possible to prevent such incidents if they happen on this scale," Kumar said.

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