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Jaita Dhar | HENB | Howrah | 8 Dec 2014:: An 18-year-old Hindu girl named Neha Choudhury, was set ablaze allegedly by a 26-year-old Muslim perpetrator named Mohammad Imtiaz, after she resisted his attempts to violate her modesty on Monday. Jilted Love Jihadi Imtiaz poured kerosene on Neha when she was retaliating to save her modesty. The school going girl and a resident of Kashi Mondal Lane, in the Belur police station area, suffered nearly 60% burns and is fighting for her life at the Tusliram Lakshmi Devi Jaiswal Hospital.
The girl, a Higher Secondary (10+2 standard) examinee, has been admitted to a state-run hospital with burns on the upper part of her body. The condition of the patient is critical as known latest.
Police said Mohammad Imtiaz, entered the Neha’s house in Belur’s Kashi Mondal Lane when she was alone around 8.30am. Imtiaz, a resident of the nearby area (Mainuddin Ansari Road, Vot Bagan), is yet to be arrested. Police said that the accused had attacked the school girl “for revenge”.
“A preliminary probe has revealed that the girl turned down a marriage proposal from the accused. The assault is the fallout of that,” said an officer of Belur police station.
“We are investigating. The girl said she was set ablaze after she resisted Imtiaz’s attempts to sexually abuse her. The accused is absconding and we are trying to track him down,” said Srihari Pandey, additional deputy commissioner, north, Howrah City Police.
Neha, the victimized girl lost her father eight years ago and lives with her mother, who earns a living as a domestic help. Their relatives live in adjacent shanties.
An aunt of the girl who lives in the neighbourhood said she was washing utensils in front of her shanty when she heard her niece’s screams. “I saw a youth run out of the house, part of his shirt in flames. He managed to douse the fire and run away,” the aunt said.
“Around the same time my niece ran out, too, crying in pain. I splashed water on her with a bucket and put out the flames.”
The shanty where the girl lives (Kashi Mondal Lane, Ward No. 19 under Bally Municipality) can be accessed from two lanes – one in front and the other at the rear. The aunt, who was washing utensils in the front lane, did not see Imtiaz enter the girl’s house.
“The statement of the witness suggests that the accused had entered the house from the rear lane,” the officer said.
Neha, the Hindu girl told doctors that Imtiaz barged into her room while she was alone and asked whether she would marry her. As Neha refused Imtiaz straight forward, Imtiaz proceeded to violate the modesty of Neha and further.
When Neha tried to chase the perpetrator, Imtiaz allegedly took out a bottle and sprinkled kerosene from it on her before setting her ablaze with a matchstick. The police said some kerosene fell on Imtiaz’s shirt, too.
The girl’s uncle said she had complained to him about the youth earlier. “She told me that he used to harass her on her way to tuition. I asked her to ignore him,” he said. “She is struggling to complete her education.”
A local TMC leader asserted the incident and told that Imtiaz is a habitual offender and has been disturbing school going girls as his usual manners since long. Imtiaz is a daily labour and he attacked another two Hindu girls, one by razor and other by throwing acid. Knowing all these fully well, the local Muslim TMC councillor, Reyaz Ahamed, nor the police authority took any action earlier against the culprit ‘Love Jiahdi’ Mohammad Imtiaz.
When the local Hindu residents took the street to protest over the pre-planned attack by Mohammad Imtiaz on Neha Choudhury resulting serious burn to the victim, the police and TMC councillor took the case in hand.
The officer at Belur police station said a case under “attempt to murder” charge has been started. “We are looking for Imtiaz.”
The accused is absconding while the girl is battling for life at a private hospital in Howrah. From a source it is known, the doctors in Jaiswal Hospital, Howrah are contemplating to shift the patient to Calcutta Medical college for better treatment.