۱۳ آذر ۱۳۹۹ | Dec 3, 2020
Women's rights bodies seek justice for Muslim girl burned alive in India

A 20-year-old Muslim girl Gulnaz Khatoon was allegedly burned to death by a Hindu man and his friends after rejecting a marriage proposal in India's eastern province of Bihar.

Hawzah News Agency - (Bihar - India) - Many political leaders and women's organizations in India have joined to demand justice for a Muslim girl who was allegedly burnt alive by a Hindu man in the eastern province of Bihar.

Gulnaz Khatoon, 20, was burned after the accused poured kerosene over her in Rasoolpur village in Vaishali district of Bihar on Oct 30.

The girl's family alleges that the police have not been able to catch the accused identified as Satish Kumar Rai, Chandan, and Vinod Rai.

Khatoon sustained 75 percent burn injuries and later died in Patna Medical College Hospital, the largest hospital in the province, on Sunday. She was engaged and the marriage ceremony was scheduled after four months.

What happened

Satish Kumar Rai had been pressuring Gulnaz to marry him. Enraged at her refusal, Satish and his friends killed the girl. Family members say the girl refused to enter into an inter-religious nuptial knot with Rai.

Media reports said Gulnaz was burned when she went out to discard household garbage on the evening of October 30.

According to the video statement of the victim before her death, she was caught by the three accused, all residents of Rasoolpur village and they started molesting her.

When she resisted and threatened to inform her mother about their misconduct, the angry accused poured kerosene on her.

The statement names Satish Rai, who poured kerosene and set her on fire. Soon the villagers gathered after hearing her screams.

Vaishali District Superintendent of Police (SP) Gaurav Mangla said that the accused persons were on the run and three police teams have been formed to arrest them.

"Investigations in the case were in progress and the accused persons would be arrested very soon," said Mangla.

The head of the local police station has been suspended for negligence in the case.

Alleged killers on the run

Khatoon’s younger sister Gulshan Parveen said the killers escaped from the scene as soon as villagers gathered after hearing screams.

"The accused persons had been stalking and sexually harassing my sister for the last three-four months and pressuring her to marry Satish Rai. They killed her because she refused," she said.

The victim’s father Mukhtar had died in 2017. The family of five sisters and four brothers survived on the wages of mother Shaimuna Khatoon and brother Istkar Ahmed. They work in provincial capital Patna, where the mother stitches and the son sells clothes.

The victim’s family had complained to the parents of the accused about the harassment. But they allegedly did nothing.

"After her marriage was fixed, Satish Rai started harassing her even more and pressured her to marry him. However, she told him that she cannot marry him. Enraged over her refusal, he threatened to kill her," said the victim’s brother Istkar.

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