Dumka woman cremated, family gets Rs 9 lakh more

The 19-year-old Dumka woman who died on Sunday, six days after she was set on fire by a stalker who has been arrested since, was cremated on Monday even as Section 144 was in force in the district as a precautionary measure following protests.

The National Commission for Women has also sought an action-taken report from the police within seven days.

Dumka Deputy Commissioner handed over a cheque for Rs 9 lakh to the victim’s family, which is in addition to the Rs 1 lakh already given by the state government. Governor Ramesh Bais also announced Rs 2 lakh to the family from his discretionary grant.

In her statement recorded in the presence of a magistrate on August 23, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, the victim said: “One person, Shahrukh, got my phone number from a friend and was harassing me for the last 10 days. Even before that, he used to harass me on the road, pressuring me to speak to him. I had brought this to the notice of my parents. On August 22, he threatened to kill me if I did not entertain him.”

After the girl told her parents about the stalker, hours before she was set on fire, it was decided that her father will meet Shahrukh’s family the next morning, it is learnt.

“Around 4am, I experienced a burning sensation on my back…and saw Shahrukh with a match box and a bottle…he had set me on fire and fled. With my body on fire, I ran to save myself…my parents later took me to a hospital,” the victim said in her statement.

Meanwhile, BJP legislature party leader Babulal Marandi also met the family of the victim. He later told the reporters that “the girl was 16 and state government increased her age so that the accused can be protected”, a charge denied by the administration.

“Had the victim been taken to Ranchi early, she could have been saved,” Marandi said.

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