A 15-year-old girl has been fighting for her life after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and set on fire. A man who had been stalking her for months is believed to be the culprit.
"The parents say they heard the girl scream from the terrace of the house and found her on fire when they ran up," local police chief Rakesh Yadav told reporters. "We have arrested the suspect. Medical tests to confirm the sexual assault are pending."
The victim lived in Tigri village, near the New Delhi suburb of Noida. She had sustained over 80 percent burns and was being treated in the hospital, doctors said.
Police arrested a 20-year-old man and charged him with raping and attempting to burn the girl to death. He had been allegedly stalking and harassing the girl, causing her to drop out of school.
Another police officer, constable Yadram Singh, said that the suspect "had severe burns on his hands" when he was arrested.
Attacks on women have attracted a lot of attention in India since the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old in a New Delhi bus in December 2012. Outrage over this case, and others similar to it, prompted the government to hurriedly introduce far stricter criminal punishments for sexual offences.
mg/msh (dpa, AP)