Ritu Mukhi, the student who set herself on fire after being forced to strip on suspicion of cheating in her school’s final exam, died on Thursday evening. The victim, a Class IX student of Saradamoni Girls’ School in Jamshedpur, returned home on October 14 after dousing herself with kerosene and set herself on fire.

She was undergoing treatment at Tata Main Hospital (TMH) in Jamshedpur. Local residents are outraged by the student’s death. Recognizing the tension, the district administration shifted security forces from the hospital to the cremation ground. Last rites will be held on Friday afternoon.

Jamshedpur Deputy Commissioner Vijay Jadhav approached TMH after receiving news of the student’s death. A medical committee was formed and an autopsy was conducted at night.

Taking cognizance of the incident, Chief Minister Hemant Soren directed the Deputy Commissioner to provide all possible assistance to the victim’s family and ensure better treatment of the girl.

Police arrested Chandra Das, a teacher who forced the girl to remove her clothes to check for hidden notes allegedly used to copy the exam. School principal Geeta Rani Mahato suspended.

According to the victim’s statement, the teacher accused her of cheating on the exam and slapped her all over the face. Despite her protests, she searched her, forcing her to undress in front of everyone.

No notes were found with her, but she was taken to the director’s office. She felt humiliated and embarrassed by this incident, because of which she sent her sisters to a neighbor, and in the evening, when she came home, she set herself on fire.

Hearing her screams, family and neighbors came to the spot. The fire was extinguished by dousing her with water, after which she was taken to TMH in a serious condition.

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