15-year-old refuses to marry, step-mother sets her on fire

Three persons have been arrested in West Bengal’s Hooghly district after they set a minor girl on fire after she refused to be forced into
marriage, police said yesterday. One of the accused was her step-mother.

Class IX student Roshanara Khatoon was set on fire on Thursday morning by her step-mother and two others of her family. The 15-year-old girl failed to turn up for the scheduled pre-nuptial ceremony, preferring instead to study at that time. With over 70 per cent burns, the girl battles for life at Arambag subdivisional hospital in the district.

“We have arrested Doelara Begum, the step-mother of the girl, and two others of the family, and booked them under several non-bailable offences, including attempt to murder,” said a police officer.

Alarmed by the girl’s shrieks, neighbours rushed to the house and rescued her. She was sent to a hospital. Neighbours also got together and gave the three people involved in the incident a sound thrashing before handing them over to police.

“The girl is a bright student, but was subjected to regular torture by the step-mother,” a neighbour said.

Teen shot dead by relative in Delhi home
An 18-year-old girl, awaiting her Class XII results, was shot dead last morning by a distant relative who barged into her home in south Delhi’s Munirka locality and pumped a bullet into her chest, police said.

Pinki alias Sakhi was killed around 10.45 am when the accused, believed to be a distant relative in his early 20s, strode into the house in the congested Buddh Vihar area in Munirka with a gun, police said.

After a few minutes, the accused opened fire and fled from the scene. Pinki’s aunt, present in another room of the house, rushed in upon hearing the sound of gunfire, to find the girl lying in a pool of blood. “The girl was lying in a pool of her own blood. We called the police and took her to Safdurjung hospital where she was declared dead on arrival,” Bheesham (30), a neighbour, said.

Pinki’s father Pritam is a plumber and mother Rani a domestic help. At the time of the incident, both had gone to work at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

“Several teams have been formed to nab the accused,” said DCP BS Jaiswal. 

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