A 25-year-old woman, from Bowenpally in Hyderabad set herself on fire after allegedly being raped and sexually harassed by her neighbour. The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon outside the Bowenpally police station. The police immediately doused the fire using a table cloth and rushed her to the state-run Gandhi Hospital.
Police said that the victim, Radhika* sustained 45% burns. She is married and has two children. Police sources said that the victim in her statement alleged that she had been sexually harassed by Venkatesh, her neighbour, who allegedly blackmailed her to have a sexual relationship with him. Venkatesh had allegedly taken nude photographs of the victim and blackmailed her with the same.
When the victimâ€™s husband learnt about their relationship, he sent her away to her motherâ€™s home after a fight. She, however, returned home after the conflict was resolved. But she allegedly received threats from the accused, who once again sexually harassed her.
Unable to bear his harassment, she took the extreme step, police said.
â€śAt around 12.40 pm, she came carrying a petrol bottle in a bag, and doused herself with it. Our staff were there, but before we could comprehend what she was doing, she immolated herself. We immediately, used table cloths to douse the fire,â€ť said Bowenpally Inspector, P Vijay Kumar.
Vijay Kumar said that the victim did not approach the police earlier. â€śHad she approached us before taking this extreme step, we would have resolved the issue.â€ť
The Bowenpally police has taken her statement in which she named, Venkatesh for sexually harassing her. Subsequently police have pressed charges against Venkatesh for rape and sexual harassment.
â€śInitially, we had filed a case under IPC 309 (punishment for attempt to suicide) against her. However, later we altered the charges. Now, we have filed a case against him under section 354 C of IPC (sexual harassment), 376 (punishment for rape),â€ť Vijay Kumar said.
Police have launched a search operation to nab the accused, who is absconding.
* Name Changed