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Odisha teacher dies after being set on fire

Bhubaneswar, Nov 1, 2013, (IANS)
A woman teacher in Odisha's Rayagada district died Friday, four days after she was set ablaze by an unidentified assailant for allegedly refusing to withdraw a sexual assault complaint. DH Illustration. For representation Only.

A woman teacher in Odisha's Rayagada district died Friday, four days after she was set ablaze by an unidentified assailant for allegedly refusing to withdraw a sexual assault complaint.

"She succumbed to her injuries at a private hospital in Visakhapatnam in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh where she was undergoing treatment. Her condition was critical," district Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandit told IANS.

Itishree Pradhan, 28, was set on fire on the night of Oct 27 after she reportedly refused to withdraw a complaint of sexual assault against local school inspector Netrananda Dandsena in July.

The incident took place in a residential government school at Tikiri in Rayagada district, about 420 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

She was watching a television show along with some children when the assailant entered the school room, poured kerosene on her and set her on fire.

Pradhan had sustained more than 90 percent burn injuries.

The district administration has suspended Dandsena, a district inspector of schools, and also a police officer who was investigating the case.

Dandsena had been absconding ever since Pradhan filed a complaint with the police against him in July this year.

A committee against sexual harassment at the work place, which probed the allegation, had found Dandsena guilty and recommended action against him.

Police arrested Dandsena Wednesday and are investigating if he set the teacher on fire himself or whether he had hired someone to commit the crime.


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