Amid Anger Over Woman's Death, Yogi Adityanath Sends Ministers To Unnao

Unnao case: The 23-year-old woman died of her burn injuries at a hospital in Delhi late last night, a day after she was set on fire allegedly by five men.

Amid Anger Over Woman's Death, Yogi Adityanath Sends Ministers To Unnao

Yogi Adityanath said the case of the Unnao woman being set on fire will be heard in a fast-track court.

Highlights

  • 23-year-old, who was set of fire, died of burn injuries at Delhi hospital
  • Fast-track court to hear case of her being set on fire in: Chief Minister
  • Unnao woman set on fire by 5 men including the rape-accused
Lucknow:

The case of the woman in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district, who was set on fire by men accused of raping her, will be heard by a fast-track court, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said today. The 23-year-old woman died of her burn injuries at a hospital in Delhi late last night. Amid nationwide outrage over the incident and the larger issue of women's safety, the Chief Minister also asked two of his ministers to travel to Unnao, 65 km from state capital Lucknow, and meet the woman's family. 

Yogi Adityanath said he is "extremely saddened to hear of the woman's death". "The case will be heard in a fast-track court and strictest of punishment will be given to the culprits," the Chief Minister said in a statement.

Two Uttar Pradesh ministers - Kamal Rani Varun and Swami Prasad Maurya - were instructed by Yogi Adityanath to leave for Unnao and meet the woman's family.

The woman, who had suffered 90 per cent burns after she was set on fire on Thursday, died of a cardiac arrest at the Safdarjung Hospital at 11:40 pm, where she had been air-lifted to from Uttar Pradesh on Thursday evening.

The woman's body was transferred to the hospital's forensic department where an autopsy was conducted. Her body is being taken from Delhi to her village in Unnao, 506 km away, by road. The autopsy reports will be given to the police, hospital sources said.

"All I want from the government and the authorities is that either they should be hanged or they should be shot dead, like what happened near Hyderabad. I am not greedy. I don't want any house to be made. I don't want anything else," the woman's father told reporters. Her brother said she told him she wanted "to see the men dead".

After the Unnao incident, opposition parties targeted the state government over women's safety. While Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met the woman's family in Unnao, the Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav sat on a protest outside the UP assembly. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati too trained her guns at the BJP government in the state and said "not a single day goes by without a case of crime against women in Uttar Pradesh."

The woman was on her way to board a train to Rae Bareli to attend a court hearing in the rape case when she was doused with kerosene and set on fire on Thursday, according to the police.

She had filed a complaint with Unnao police in March alleging that she had been raped at gun-point on December 12, 2018, police documents showed. Having been subsequently jailed, the alleged rapist - Shivam Trivedi - was released last week after securing bail, police officer SK Bhagat said. He and his co-accused Shubham Trivedi are among the five attackers.

All five men were arrested from their homes.

"We will appeal to the concerned court today to take this case to fast track court. We will also appeal to hear the case on a day to day basis," Uttar Pradesh Justice Minister Brajesh Pathak said.

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 the two men.

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