Minor rag picker set ablaze in Pune; suffers 75 per cent burn injuries

Pune: In a shocking incident that took place in Pune on Thursday, a 17-year-old rag picker while he was answering call of nature was allegedly set afire by a group of people who suspected him to having stolen vehicle batteries, police said.

The boy, identified as Sawan Dharma Rahtod is a resident of Vishrambaug, who received 75 per cent burn injuries has been admitted to the Sassoon General Hospital.

The boy, identified as Sawan Dharma Rahtod, who received 75 per cent burn injuries is treated at the Sassoon General Hospital.

A complaint in this matter has been lodged with the Faraskhana police, which falls under the jurisdiction of Pune city police. A 35-year-old man, Ibrahim Shaikh, has been arrested in connection with the incident, while the other two suspects -- identified as Zuber Tamboli (26) and his brother Imran (28) -- are absconding.

All three have booked under the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code including attempt to murder (307), assault (323), intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace (504) punishment for criminal intimidation (506) and an act done by trio with common intention (34).

The three suspects, according to police, questioned the boy as to what he was doing and about theft of vehicle batteries when he was loitering in the Kasabapeth area of the city. They later poured petrol on him last night and set him afire.

Inspector (Crime) D B Bhosale, who is investigating the case, said, "Sawan is a scrap collector and addicted to liquor. The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon when he had purchased liquor and was on his way to Kasbapeth. He was attending call of nature when the trio held him and suspecting him of being the thief who stole batteries from vehicles dragged him into an isolated area, poured diesel on him and set him ablaze. Later they doused the fire and then drove him in a tempo to around 30 kms away from the city before dropping him off at Shivajinagar bus stand. They threatened to kill him if he alerted the police before fleeing the area. Rathod then approached the nearest police chowky. We have been able to confirm the story with the help of CCTV camera and arrested Ibrahim.”

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