WB govt condemns 'politics over body', Nitish announces Rs 1 lakh

Amidst outcry after the death of a 16-year-old girl who was gangraped twice here, the West Bengal government today condemned "politics over her body", even as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced Rs one lakh for the victim's family.

In Patna, Kumar announced Rs one lakh for the family of the girl and promised to rehabilitate them in Bihar if they chose to do so.

Kumar directed the Inspector General of Police, Special Branch, G S Gangwar to meet the family, which hails from Bihar, and assist them in any way possible.

"I am deeply saddened over the incident which deserves condemnation in the strongest words," Kumar told reporters.

He said he and the people of Bihar were fully behind the victim's family and that Bihar Director General of Police Abhayanand had spoken to his West Bengal counterpart to find out the details of the incident.

In Kolkata, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra told a press conference, "The police and state government fully cooperated with the family. Yesterday there were a lot of people on the streets because of new year celebrations."

"But still we have provided the family with all kind of cooperation and help it had asked for. We have also helped them in the of the cremation, whatever help they had asked for," Mitra claimed.

He said financial help and assistance would be given to the bereaved family.

"The government is fully with the bereaved family, however, at this point I would wish to strongly deplore the tendency to create politics over a dead body," said Mitra.

He also said that there was no negligence in her treatment as alleged by the victim's family.

"All the accused against whom there are allegations have been arrested. We are committed to zero tolerance for sexual violence," he said.

Without referring to the gangrape incident, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "Nobody should do bad acts. I condemn any bad act. The actions being taken by the administration had not been taken in 35 years (of Left Front rule).

Leader of the Opposition, Surya Kanta Mishra, belonging, to the CPI(M) however, said, "Whatever he (Mitra) has said is his master's voice.

"What he was told to brief he has briefed. But regarding his comment that politics is being done, I would like to say we are politicians and it our job not his," Mishra said.

The girl's father, a taxi driver, had yesterday alleged that police took away the body from a mortuary for cremation but could not do it as the death certificate was with him.

He had also alleged that police had issued threats to the family to leave the state and return to Bihar.

The father and Left leaders had also met Governor M K Narayanan yesterday demanding security for the family and death penalty for the rapists.

Earlier, a murder case was filed by the police against the two main accused in the gang-rape of the victim, who was pregnant at the time of her death.

The girl, who was brutalised twice on October 25, had died at government-run city hospital on December 31 from burns after she attempted self-immolation on December 23.

The victim's family members had alleged that she was burnt alive by the culprits.

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