- Woman was on her way to a court hearing in her rape complaint
- Her alleged rapist Shivam Trivedi was among the attackers
- He had been released on bail in the case five days ago
A 23-year-old rape survivor fighting for her life with 90 per cent burns has told the police she was thrashed and stabbed before being set on fire by five men near her village in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, including two she had accused of raping her and their fathers. She was on her way to a court hearing in her rape complaint when the men surrounded her near a railway station.
The woman, in her burnt state, was conscious all the way to the hospital, where she gave a statement to the police identifying all five attackers.
"At 4 am I was going to a local railway station to catch a train to Rae Bareli. Five people (she names them) were waiting for me. 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," the woman told the police from her hospital bed in Unnao.
"When I started shouting, a crowd collected and the police was called," she said.
The police however say a medical report has not confirmed the stab injury.
Her alleged rapist Shivam Trivedi, who was among the attackers, had been released on bail in the case five days ago. His co-accused Shubham Trivedi, who had been missing, also participated in the attack.
One witness had claimed that the woman was running in a ball of fire when he saw her screaming for help. He said he dialled the emergency 100 helpline and put his mobile on speaker to get the woman to speak to the police.
The woman was air-lifted to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital, where doctors say she is very critical.
All five attackers were arrested from their homes.
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.
Shivam Trivedi, she alleged, had trapped her in a relationship, raped her and filmed it. She said he used to threaten her saying he would post the video online if she complained to the police.
"He threatened to kill me when I said I would go public with details. I finally managed to get away from him and started living with a relative in Rae Bareli by late 2018. On December 12 2018, the accused and his friend Shubham Trivedi took me to an isolated spot on the pretext of a compromise and then raped me again," the woman said in her FIR.