A 13-year-old girl was set on fire in Telangana last month allegedly after she resisted the sexual advances of a 26-year-old man at his home where she worked as a caregiver.
Though the incident took place on September 18 – in Khammam district, nearly 195 km from Hyderabad – it has come to light now after a police inquiry was initiated in the matter.
The girl was admitted to a private hospital with 70 per cent burn injuries and is recovering.
“The police have arrested the accused. A case of rape under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and attempt to murder have been filed against the man,” Khammam district Police Commissioner Tafseer Iqbal told NB. The accused has also been charged with concealing evidence and/or making it disappear, the police officer said.
“The district medical and health officer has been told to conduct an inquiry into why the doctors, the hospital or the families did not report the case to the authorities earlier,” Mr Iqbal said.
The teenager had given a statement to the police and a “declaration” to a magistrate in which she had identified the man who allegedly assaulted her as the son of the family which employed her to look after a bedridden man.
The girl told the police that the man had torn her clothes while trying to sexually assault her on September 18. When she resisted his advances, he poured petrol on her and set her ablaze, the girl is said to have told the police.
Both the survivor and the accused belong to the same community. The accused reportedly told the police that the girl suffered burns in an accident.
The accused’s pregnant wife was visiting her parents at the time of the incident.