On Tuesday, a 35-year-old woman set herself on fire in Lucknow’s Hazratganj area. And now, police reports from Wednesday suggest that the woman has succumbed to her injuries.
In relation to the case, the police have now taken Alok Prasad Pasi, the state president of the UP Dalit Congress, into custody.
The police suspect that he sparked the idea of suicide in the woman’s mind. According to Lucknow DCP Somen Barma, an FIR has been registered against Alok Prasad — son of former Rajasthan Governor Sukhdev Prasad — at the Hazratganj police station.
Before her death, the woman was hospitalised in Lucknow’s Civil Hospital. On Tuesday, the woman revealed that she was a resident of Maharajganj. The woman alleged that she had to take the extreme step because of constant harassment by her in-laws.
According to the Civil Hospital director Dr. Madhu Saxena, 90% of the woman’s body was covered with burns. On Wednesday, the woman finally succumbed to her injuries.
As per DCP Barma, two police teams from Maharajganj had reached Lucknow. He added that a probe into the matter was ongoing. DCP Barma was also asked if the police were planning to mention the woman’s in-laws in the FIR. To this, he replied that the case was being looked at from that angle too.
UP Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu has stated that the BJP government was targeting the Opposition by holding Pasi without any concrete evidence. “The Congress party will keep fighting. Regardless of how much oppression we face or how many false cases are filed against our workers, we will not bow down,” said Lallu.
According to the Police, the woman, on Tuesday, reached Hazratganj in an e-rickshaw and set herself on fire by using kerosene that she had brought with herself.
A police constable present nearby tried to her rescue. He was able to douse the flames with the help of a sub-inspector. However, the burns she received by then were too grave. As per the police, she was quickly rushed to the Civil Hospital.
In the hospital, the woman revealed that back in 2014, she had married one Akhilesh Tiwari who hailed from Maharajganj. However, they soon separated. She was then married to a man whom she only identified as Asif. She married her new husband after converting to Islam.
“After two-three years, Asif left for the UAE to work there and her in-laws allegedly refused to let her live with them,” said a police officer.
Maharajganj Superintendent of Police Pradeep Gupta said, “We suspect that Alok Prasad is involved in the issue. For the past several days, he was frequently seen with the woman and he may have had a role in inciting her to take the extreme step. We will check his call detail records.”
In an attempt to protest against Pasi’s arrest, several Congress party workers met Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujeet Pandey on Wednesday. The party workers also staged a protest outside Hazratganj police station, where Pasi is being questioned.
On Wednesday, the UP Congress tweeted, “Another step in the direction of oppression of Dalits. Without any warrant, UP police arrested UP Dalit Congress president Alok Prasad Pasi. Every day there is torture against Dalits and women, and Alok Prasad was raising his voice against that.”