Police said one Shahrukh Hussain, 19, had been harassing the woman for “some time”. “She was sleeping by a window which faced a sidewalk connecting to the main road. In the early hours of August 23, the accused poured petrol on her through the window and set her on fire. She screamed for help. She saw the accused running… We have her dying declaration,” said Dumka SP Ambar Lakra.
Dumka Sub-Divisional Officer Mahaeshwar Mahato said Section 144 of the IPC has been invoked in the town area. In a statement, Mahato said: “Without any prior permission all public gathering including protests, religious processions is restricted.”
The woman had been admitted to Phoolo Jhano Medical College Hospital in Dumka and was later referred to Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, where she died.
RIMS spokesperson Dr Rajiv Ranjan said: “(The) patient had suffered 45 per cent burn injuries and the cause of her death is cardio-respiratory failure.”
Dumka Deputy Commissioner RS Shukla said: “We have recommended a speedy trial and have given a compensation of Rs 1lakh to the victim’s family. We are in the process of getting the family more compensation… The accused used to harass the woman. The authorities did not know this because the family never complained.”
The woman’s father told The Indian Express: “It was around 4 am when we heard her screaming. We rushed to her room and doused the fire. She said Shahrukh had done this. She died between Saturday and Sunday.” MSN