A teenager is fighting for her life in hospital after she set fire to herself just moments after she was raped by a neighbour, police have said.
The 16-year-old was home alone when a neighbour – identified only as Bablu in local media – reportedly came to the house and attacked her .
Just moments after the ordeal, at her home in Ghaziabad, northern India, she reportedly drenched herself in kerosene and lit the fuel.
Police believe she was selected by the accused abuser because her family are low-caste Dalits, once known as the Untouchables in India.
The girl’s father told police his daughter had been home alone while the rest of the family was at work.
As another neighbour kept watch, Bablu is accused of locking the girl in her bedroom and raping her.
Her father told police in a statement: “Bablu entered the house, locked my daughter in her room and did wrong things to her inside.
“He behaved inappropriately.”
The attack was only halted when the girl’s brother returned home and demanded to know what had happened.
Her father said: “Bablu opened the door and started hurling abuse at my son.
“He made casteist remarks against my son and slapped him. He even threatened to kill him.”
The victim’s father says his daughter was so distraught she tried to incinerate herself.
He said: “Disgusted by this incident, my daughter doused herself with kerosene and set herself ablaze.
“She has been admitted to Sudarshan Hospital in Ghaziabad for treatment.”
Police say one 22-year-old man has been arrested on alleged rape and child abuse charges and another is being sought.
But the victim’s family say they have been threatened and offered bribes to drop the case, because they are a low caste family.
Her mother said: “We have been threatened. The families have offered us some compensation.
“We might not be as powerful as them, but our daughter is battling for her life here. Do they think any compensation is worth her life?”