Ranchi, Dec 17: Police in Ranchi said on Saturday that four suspects were detained after a 19-year-old engineering student was found dead, stripped bare and her body charred -- the fourth incident of a woman being burnt alive in Jharkhand. The BTech student of an IT institute here was living at a rented house in Buty Basti with her sister who had gone to visit their parents in Hazaribagh district when her burnt body was found on Friday.
As the autopsy report to determine the cause of the Ranchi student's death was awaited, police said they have formed a special investigating team (SIT) to probe the shocking incident. The incident came to light on the day when the entire country was remembering the December 16, 2012 brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old para-medical student, dubbed Nirbhaya, in a moving bus in Delhi.
Police said it was the fourth shocking incident of women being burnt alive after being raped or termed witch in Jharkhand in a week. On December 14, an elderly woman and her husband in Simdega district were burnt to death on charges of practicing black magic.
Lohar Singh, 70 and his wife Chotrai Devi, 62, were dragged out from their house by three men. They were thrashed first and later thrown over a heap of dry grass and set on fire. Another woman was burnt alive on December 12 in Khuti district on charges of practicing black magic.
Four days earlier, a minor girl was burnt and thrown in a well after she protested alleged gang rape attempt in Seraikela-Kharsawa district. According to police the Class 4 student was taken in a forested area by four men after offering her a chocolate. When they tried to rape her, she started shouting. The perpetrators then allegedly poured kerosene oil on her and set her ablaze.
She was later thrown in a well from where she was recovered still breathing. She died while being treated in a hospital. This year till October, more than 1,000 rape cases have been reported in the state. Almost same number of cases was reported in to 2015.
The Congress blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for failing to curb violence against women in the state. "The BJP government led by (Chief Minister) Raghubar Das only believes in tall claims of safety of citizens, particular women," Kishore Sahdeo, Jharkhand Congress general secretary, told IANS.
"The reality has come to the fore as unfortunate incidents (of violence) against women have taken place in the state. Das has failed to provide security to people. Women are being killed in heinous ways."