The neighbours, who gathered after hearing the girl's cry, extinguished the fire, and nabbed the accused while he was trying to flee.
Varanasi: Enraged over a girl's refusal to share her mobile number despite his repeated requests, a man allegedly set his minor Dalit neighbour on fire at her house in Fariha village in Azamgarh district, police said on Wednesday.
The incident took place on Tuesday when Mohammad Shai, a resident of the same village, went to the victim's house and allegedly pressurised her to give her mobile number to him.
According to the police, when the girl refused to disclose her number, Shai first allegedly thrashed her, and then sprinkled kerosene over her body to set her on fire.
The neighbours, who gathered after hearing the girl's cry, extinguished the fire, and nabbed the accused while he was trying to flee from the spot, they said.
Rushed to a nearby Sadar hospital, the girl, after getting preliminary treatment, was referred to a government hospital in Varanasi where her condition is stated to be critical, a police official said.
The victim has sustained over 80 per cent burn injuries, the official said.
The accused, who was earlier beaten up by the locals at the crime scene, was also admitted to the Sadar hospital, he added.
Police said a case has been registered against the accused under sections of the SC/ST Act, POCSO Act and IPC.
In order to prevent any communal tension in the village, a large number of force has also been deployed in the area, police said.