As outrage grows over the death of a 23-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, who was raped and set on fire, her distraught father has just one request from the government - swift action against the accused. "Like it happened within days in Hyderabad, we demand that the men who burnt my daughter either be hanged in a week or be shot dead. This is our request to the government," the father told NDTV at his village in Unnao district, referring to the death of four men accused of raping and murdering a veterinarian in Telangana on Friday.
The man said his daughter had told him the evening before she was set on fire that she wanted to go to the court in Raebareli to check how did the rape accused get released on bail in two-and-a-half-months when he was supposed to be behind bars for three. The alleged rapist Shivam Trivedi, who was among the attackers, had been released on bail just five days ago.
"She however did not tell me if she would be going by train or by a bus in the morning. She did not wake us up in the morning and left... When she reached the main road she was beaten up and then doused with petrol. She still ran a kilometre and managed to call the police," the father narrated.
The woman's father told NDTV that a day before the attack, they were threatened by the accused, who had said "the woman and the father may be burnt or shot dead."
"The FIR was lodged four months after the alleged rape as the police station here did not listen to us. The accused used to bribe the local cops," the father claimed. He alleged the FIR was filed only after there was pressure from state capital Lucknow.
The circumstances in which the woman's rapist was released on bail are being questioned. So is the role of the police, who filed an FIR on her rape complaint in March, four months after she was allegedly gang-raped by Shivam Trivedi and his neighbor Subham Trivedi.
The woman's brother earlier today said she told him she wanted "to see the men dead". "My sister said, 'please save me, I want to see them dead'. I said we will save you. But we couldn't. My sister is no more and I also want these five people should not live. That's all what we wish for," the brother said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sent two ministers to Unnao to meet the family and announced that the case will be heard by a fast-track court. "Strictest of punishment will be given to the culprits," the Chief Minister said in a statement.
He has however come under attack by the Opposition, which says his government has not done enough to prevent crimes against women. While Samadwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav sat outside the UP Assembly in protest, Congress Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited the woman's family in Unnao earlier today.