A college student who was found without clothes and severely burnt lying along a national highway in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh has claimed she was set on fire after a failed attempt to gang-rape her, police said on Wednesday.
According to Superintendent of Police S Anand, the young woman told investigators that three people tried to rape her in a field near Rai Kheda village on Monday and when they did not succeed, they poured kerosene and set her on fire.
The BA second-year student was admitted to a hospital in the district and later referred to Lucknow.
The police officer, however, added that she frequently changed her statements and also said that she was not aware how she reached the hospital from the third floor of her college building.
In CCTV footage, the girl -- a student of a college run by a trust of former union minister Swami Chinmayanand -- was seen coming down alone from the third floor, the police said.
"Investigations with the help of CCTV footage have found that the girl went out of the college campus from a broken outer wall about 20 minutes after entering the premises and was seen walking alone on a canal road," Mr Anand said.
Prior to that, the girl could be seen talking to her friends outside a classroom and visiting a library, the SP said.
Three teams led by deputy superintendents of police (Dy SPs) as well as an SOG team have been deployed. Besides, another team led by a Dy SP with five policemen is present in Lucknow's SPM Civil Hospital where she is undergoing treatment for 72 per cent burns. Earlier reports said she suffered 60 per cent burns.
After recording the girl's statement in Lucknow, the investigating officer will take up the matter, the SP said.
Over a dozen students of the college, including her friends, have been questioned.
The girl had called one person of her village on mobile phone on the day of incident and he has also been questioned, the SP said.
According to a resident of the village where she was found lying without clothes, the villagers had covered her with a stole before calling the police.
The SP said that in the field where she was lying, some tumblers were found but there was no trace of liquor.