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.
A 23-year-old rape victim, who died two days after she was set on fire by a gang of men including her alleged rapist, was put to rest, Sunday, December 8, in her hometown of Unnao, India. Indian Gang Rape Victim Set on Fire on Way to Court, Dies pic.twitter.com/9VRHAorDqM
— VOA DEEWA (@voadeewa) December 8, 2019
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.
Delhi: Visuals from outside Safdarjung Hospital where Unnao rape victim died due to a cardiac arrest, earlier tonight. She was set ablaze in Bihar area of Unnao on December 5 and was later airlifted to Delhi, to be admitted here at the hospital. pic.twitter.com/I2qMo5EGWm
— ANI (@ANI) December 6, 2019
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.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) December 7, 2019
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.
— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) December 7, 2019
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:
Another innnocent life lost to rape. Extremely Saddened to hear about the demise of the Unnao Rape Victim. My heartfelt condolences. May she rest in Peace. We need to ensure she gets justice as well as all other rape victims…enough is enough….
— Supriya Sule (@supriya_sule) December 6, 2019
After Hyderabad, it’s Unnao again, where tragically a rape victim has succumbed.
Rise in the number of rape cases & evident lack of justice in extremely worrying
Central govt & State govts must treat this as an emergency situation, and come up with solutions for safety of women
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) December 7, 2019
Most tragic to know, #Unnao rape victim has succumbed to injuries. My thoughts & prayers are with her family.Culprits must get harshest punishment. Rising no of rape cases in country are most worrying. Central govt & all State govts have to work towards curbing this heinous crime
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) December 7, 2019
IYC’s protest march from 5, Raisina Road to the Parliament demanding justice for the horrific crime committed against the Unnao rape victim has been joined by a multitude of IYC members, volunteers and citizens from across Delhi. #JusticeForUnnao pic.twitter.com/UKhsnfd2HI
— Saurabh Pawar (@saurabhpawarinc) December 9, 2019
NSUI conducted a candle march from NSUI Headquarters to Jantar Mantar in Solidarity with the rape victim of Unnao who was set ablaze and lost her life today. We demand immediate action against the culprit. Our deepest condolences with the family of the aggrieved. pic.twitter.com/LO1X2YupmC
— NSUI (@nsui) December 7, 2019
Feature Image via @Neerajkundan