Hyderabad: A 13-year-old girl from Telangana’s Khammam district was set on fire allegedly by her 26-year-old employer after she resisted a rape attempt by him.
While the incident took place on 18 September, it came to light Monday after the local police found out about it. The girl was getting treated in a private hospital but no FIR was registered in the case for 15 days.
“The incident happened about 15 days ago. Our special branch got to know about a minor getting treated in the hospital for burns having suspicious reasons on Monday. Immediately, we rushed the team to the spot and ascertained the details,” Khammam Police Commissioner Tafseer Iqubal told ThePrint.
“The hospital said that they thought this was a case of ‘accidental burn’, but they still have to inform the police. We will also probe if someone tried to remove the evidence,” Iqubal added.
The girl suffered 70 per cent burns, but her condition is now stable, the police said.
She worked as a domestic help in the accused’s house and took care of his handicapped, bedridden father, according to the police. He lived in the house with his father and pregnant wife.
A few weeks ago, the accused had allegedly tried to sexually assault the minor girl and when she resisted, he poured petrol on her and set her on fire.
She was shifted to a private hospital by a few neighbours, according to the police.
The minor’s parents were allegedly informed only days after the incident occurred. They stay in a rural area in the district called Pallegudem, which is a few kilometres away from the town area where the incident occurred.
The accused has been taken into custody and sent to remand while the girl has been shifted to a private hospital in Hyderabad for better treatment.
Case booked under attempt to rape, murder and POCSO
A case has been booked under the relevant sections of attempt to rape and murder as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, against the accused. He has also been booked under Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for ‘causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender’.
Officials have also initiated a probe into the management of the private hospital, where the minor was being treated, for not alerting the police to the case. They are investigating if there was any ‘mala fide’ intent for not informing the police.
The Medical and Health Officer of the district, Dr. Malathi, has also been alerted about the hospital’s lapse.
Action will be taken against more people if their involvement is found in the case. All angles are being probed, Iqubal said.
Both the girl and the accused belonged to the same Budaga Jangam community so the police have ruled out the possibility of caste-based violence for now.
District Collector R.V. Karnan and women and child welfare teams were also alerted immediately by the police.