Man accuses four of rape, immolation of daughter

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Hardwar, May 24 (UNI) The father of a girl, who who was earlier reported to have torched herself to death, has lodged an FIR against four youths of village Maharajpur Khurd of this district of Uttarakhand, accusing them of burning his daughter alive after committing gangrape on her.

Lakshman, a resident of the same village, lodged a report with the Laksar police station yesterday, saying Babloo, Charan, Ishwar and Ashok raped his daughter Santosh Devi, 20, and then immolated her.

The village sources said the victim's mother, Batto, was killed in a land dispute seven months ago, and the youths accused in the FIR of her daughter's alleged rape and murder supported Lakshman's rivals.

Santosh Devi was said to have self-immolated on Thursday evening.

However, the SP (Dehat), Ajay Joshi, told UNI today that there seemed to be no evidence of gangrape and murder, but admitted that the deceased had an ''intimate relationship'' with one of the accused -- Babloo.

Police sources said an investigation was underway, adding that the girl might have set herself on fire after the disclosure of her affair or being rebuked by her family.

They added that a case under section 306 of the IPC had been registered against the quartet.

Police have arrested Babloo, while the three other accused were absconding.

The villagers and the family members of the victim alleged police were trying to shield the accused, who were influential people.

UNI XC SKB DS1515

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