Tribal woman set on fire over land dispute in MP’s Guna, dies

A tribal woman who was set ablaze by a group of men over a land dispute, succumbed to her injuries in Hamidia hospital here, police said on Saturday.

She had received 80 per cent burn injuries.

Rampyari Bai, a resident of Dhaneria village under Guna district, was set on fire by a group of villagers for resisting encroachment on her land. Enraged over her constant resistance, the group of villagers allegedly set her afire at the village on July 2.

Medical superintendent of Hamidia hospital, Dr Ashish Gohiya confirmed that the woman passed away on Friday night. He said that the body has been handed over to her family for last rites.

The woman belonged to the Saharia tribe, which has been classified as a particularly vulnerable tribal group.

As per her complaint lodged with the police, six bigha land that the accused were trying to encroach upon was reportedly allotted to Rampyari Bai’s family under a chief minister’s welfare scheme launched by the former Digvijaya Singh government.

Reports say that the local administration had also settled a dispute pertaining to the land in the family’s favour in May this year. But still, the miscreants didn’t budge from their stand and continued to make attempts to encroach upon their land.

The incident sparked a nationwide outrage and various agencies and people condemned the incident demanding arrest and stringent punishment to the culprits.

Police had arrested five persons, including two women, in connection with the incident. A video, purportedly shot by the accused, went viral on social media, in which the woman was seen crying in pain, with smoke all around her.

The person shooting the video was heard saying the woman had torched herself.

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