An Indian woman scheduled to attend a court hearing as a plaintiff of a rape case has died after a group of five men — including two of her alleged rapists — set her on fire.
The woman, who claimed to have been raped last December, was about to board a train in the district of Unnao, state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday when the group doused her in kerosene then set her on fire.
The woman died at 11:40 p.m. on Friday at a New Delhi hospital after sustaining burns to nearly all parts of her body.
“She was having 95% burns,”
Dr. Shalabh Kumar of Safdarjung Hospital said, adding that “toxic and hot fumes”
had filled her lungs, according to Reuters
The woman reportedly filed her rape complaint in March, noting that she was assaulted at gunpoint. Prior to her death, she managed to describe details of the incident to local police.
“They surrounded me and first hit me on the leg with a stick and also stabbed me in the neck with a knife. After that they poured petrol on me and set me on fire,”
she said, according to NDTV
The woman was able to identify all five attackers, which included her alleged rapists, Shivam Trivedi and neighbor Shubham Trivedi, as well as their fathers.
Shivam Trivedi was released on bail less than a week before the incident on Thursday.
All five men have since been arrested from their homes. The woman reportedly expressed her wish to get justice.
“Please save me, I don’t want to die. Those who have done this to me, I want to see them getting a death sentence,”
her brother recalled her saying, according to India Today
The brutal attack on the woman came after thousands protested the alleged rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in the southern city of Hyderabad.
The hashtag “#HangRapists” has since been trending on Twitter in India, with protesters demanding that the suspects be turned over to them to face mob justice.
On Friday, police reportedly shot the suspects for allegedly trying to escape.
However, some speculate that the shootings may have been extrajudicial killings, according to the BBC
Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of rape cases in India, with more than 4,200 reported in 2017, according to Al Jazeera
Indian nationals, including politicians, mourned the Unnao woman’s death and called for justice: