A teenage girl in India died after being set on fire by a purported stalker who became enraged after she turned down his marriage proposal.
Ankita Singh, 19, was sleeping in her bed near an open window around 4 a.m. on August 23 when a man saturated her in gasoline and chucked a lit match at her, according to the BBC Hindi.
Singh was transported to the hospital with severe injuries but died as a result of the egregious attack on Sunday.
Singh identified the man as Shahrukh Hussain before she died from her injuries, informing authorities he had been continuing to follow her and hassling her, according to the outlet.
Hussain called her around 8 p.m. the night before and “told me that he would kill me if I did not talk to him,” the teen said.
“I informed my father about the threat after which he assured me that he would talk to the man’s family on Tuesday,” she told cops, according to the Mirror.
She went on to say that she awoke with “a sensation of pain on my back” and that she “could smell something burning.”
“When I opened my eyes, I found [Hussain] running away,” she told authorities.
Two clips of Singh in the treatment center have since gone viral, sparking outrage in India. She had burns on 45% of her body.
Sanjeev Singh, the teen’s father, confirmed that Hussain resided in their community. He claimed that the man’s negative attention caused his daughter to skip school on occasion.
“Shahrukh used to say to her, ‘Marry me, accept Islam, else I will make your life hell,’” he told Swarajya magazine.
“He kept on forcing my daughter to marry and convert for months. He was a one-sided lover, a stalker.”
Last week, police apprehended Hussain and an accomplice. Both men are reportedly charged with murder.
The tragedy of Singh’s situation is exacerbated by the fact that it is extremely far from isolated. One stalking case is disclosed to Indian authorities every 55 minutes, based on a 2020 study.