TMC, CPM fight over rape victim's body

Girl's father lodges a complaint of negligence against Mamata

TMC, CPM fight over rape victim's body

In a shocking beginning to the New Year, political parties locked horns on the death of a rape victim who had committed suicide after harassment by the friends of rapists to withdraw her complaint.

While police tried to force the girl’s family to have the cremation in haste, senior CPM leaders swooped in and hijacked the body at the crematorium. The tug-of-war continued throughout the day till her body was cremated late in the evening.

CPM supporters and the police clashed outside Nimtala crematorium in north Kolkata on Wednesday around 8 am when a group of CPM cadres went to take charge of the girl’s body, since the girl’s father, a taxi driver affiliated to CPM labour wing CITU had decided to take the body out in a condolence rally before the cremation. Left leaders submitted a deputation before Governor M K Narayanan.

The state administration, reportedly feeling threatened, wanted to have the body cremated at the earliest and forced the girl’s family to give up the body on  Tuesday night, when it was being taken to a city mortuary.

While CITU leader Shyamal Chakraborty cried murder, Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy told reporters, “The CPM is alienated from the people and is desperately trying to start bad propaganda against the government over the issue.”

The girl’s father also lodged a complaint of medical negligence against a number of people, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after the death of the girl at the state-run R G Kar Medical College & Hospital, since Banerjee also holds the health portfolio. The girl, who set herself on fire on December 23, was admitted with severe burns.

Her father said she was trying to escape the trauma and repeated threats from her violators.

The girl, who shifted to Madhyamgram near Kolkata from Bihar in July to live with her father, was gang-raped on October 25 and then again the next day when she was returning from the police station after filing an FIR. She was admitted to  hospital with around 40 percent burns and succumbed to her injuries on December 31.

The police had arrested eight people in connection with the gang rape. The girl’s 20-year-old brother alleged that the police wanted to suppress the case and demanded death sentence for all the accused.

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