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Schoolgirl Set On Fire By Stalker Dies

A 16-year-old schoolgirl in Dumka, Jharkhand, informed her father on August 23 about a young man who had been bothering her before going to bed. A few hours later, she awoke with a burning odor and a searing pain in her back.

To her astonishment, the student in class 12 discovered that her own body was on fire.

She had been set on fire by Shahrukh Hussain, her suspected stalker. It happened on Sunday.

In footage, Shahrukh Hussain can be seen grinning as the police take him into custody.

In her final statement before a magistrate, the girl mentioned him.

He called her on her mobile around 10 days back, pestering her to become his friend, she said, and attacked her when she rejected his advances.

He then called her again around 8 pm on Monday, threatening to kill her if she didn't talk to him.

"I informed my father about the threat, after which he assured me that he would talk to the man's family on Tuesday. After having our dinner, we went to sleep. I was sleeping in another room. On Tuesday morning, I experienced a sensation of pain on my back and could smell something burning. I found him running away when I opened my eyes. I started screaming in pain and went to my father's room. My parents doused the fire and took me to the hospital," she said.

Her entire body except her face got burnt, she said, as she struggled to speak.

She also named another person, Chhotu Khan, who the police are interrogating in custody.

Large gatherings have been banned in Dumka following massive protests over her death.

The case has turned political, as the victim and the accused are from different communities. Opposition BJP has slammed the Chief Minister for "neglecting" women's safety.

Faced with mounting criticism, the state has said the case will be fast-tracked. Chief Minister Hemant Soren announced that a top cop (at the level of Additional Director General of Police) will supervise the case; he also announced ₹ 10 lakh as monetary compensation for the family of the victim.

The police said that the situation is normal and under control.

"The accused Shahrukh has been arrested. We'll apply at fast track court for a fast trial. People are cooperating with us. We appeal to people to maintain peace. The situation is under control and Sec 144 has been imposed," Dumka Superintendent of Police Ambar Lakda said.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren has called for the "strictest punishment" for the accused.


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