The condition of the victim, a single parent who has two children, was stated to be critical. Chowk Bazaar police, with whom the woman filed the complaint, said they had warned the main accused, identified as one Suresh Patil, but did not take any action as they thought it was “a personal issue”.
According to police, the victim was in a relationship with the accused for around two years, but a few months ago she broke up with him over some issues and stopped meeting him or taking his phone calls. Later, she also lodged a complaint, said Inspector M R Nakum.In the early hours of Thursday, Suresh and his friends — Laxman, Raju, Sunny and Hitesh — allegedly barged into the victim’s residence, where she was sleeping with her mother and children. The accused forcibly took the victim on a motorcycle after threatening her mother, police said, adding that she was gangraped near a water canal in Variyav area of Surat.
After the five allegedly raped her, they poured petrol on her and set her on fire. Police said the woman jumped into the canal, but the accused pulled the victim out and then left her outside her house.
The victim was taken to a hospital by neighbours, even as the accused fled away, said Inspector Nakum, adding that she has burn injuries on her chest, shoulders and neck. “The victim had earlier filed a complaint against accused Suresh. We thought it was their personal issue, so we did not pay much attention and only warned the accused… Suresh has been involved in petty crimes in the area. We have launched a manhunt to nab the accused,” he said.