Akhilesh Yadav speaks during a news conference in the northern Indian city of Lucknow on March 6, 2012
Reuters
By Rohit Inani
July 7, 2015

A 40-year-old woman has succumbed to her injuries after she was allegedly set on fire by two police officers in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the Press Trust of India reports.

The incident occurred when the woman went to a police station in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district on Monday to enquire about her husband, who had been detained by the police. In her testimony to a local administrative official before she died, the woman alleged that when she refused to pay a bribe to free her spouse, two police officers at the station attempted to sexually assault her before setting her ablaze.

“Station house officer Rai Sahab Yadav and constable Akhilesh Rai took me into a room in the police station. They snatched my jewelry and tried to outrage my modesty. When I raised an alarm, the cops poured petrol on me and set me afire,” she said in a statement to the administrative official, according to the Hindustan Times.

The woman was rushed to a hospital in the state capital of Lucknow, where she passed away on Tuesday morning. “The woman died at around 4 a.m.,” Dr. Ashutosh Dubey, an official at the hospital where the woman was being treated, told the newspaper. “[She] had near total burns and her condition was serious when she was brought here.”

Although the two policemen have been suspended and booked under the Indian Penal Code, the police contest the victim’s account, claiming instead that the woman tried to commit suicide inside the police station by setting herself on fire when she was abused and chased away by the two police officers.

Speaking to local media, Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of the state, said, “A magisterial inquiry has been ordered and stern action will be taken against those found guilty in the report.”

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