Kin refuse to cremate molested teen

Kin refuse to cremate molested teen

The family of 13-year-old Arshdeep Kaur, who died after being thrown off a moving bus in Moga, has refused to perform her last rites until their demands, including that of action against the company that owned the bus, are not met. 

The bus is owned by Orbit Aviation Private Limited, of which the ruling Badal family are major stake-holders.

The girl's head hit the road when she fell from the bus, and she died upon impact. Her mother, Shinder Kaur, 36, sustained head injuries and was discharged from hospital on Friday. Meanwhile, her body is lying in the civil hospital mortuary. The police said they are trying to reason out with the family to cremate the body.   

The Punjab government on Friday said the next of kin would be given a compensation of Rs 20 lakh and a job for one family member. The offer has been declined by the family, at least so far. 

The incident has turned into a big political embarrassment for the ruling Badal family. Leaders of various political parties, including the Congress and the AAP, on Friday, camped outside the police station in Moga in protest. In another twist to the case, there are reports that the girl's father had signed some blank papers.

Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa said they would continue to insist on a case against the owners of the bus company for the incident. He said there cannot be separate yardsticks dealing with other such cases, where owners have been booked.

The Punjab government on Friday set up a high-level committee headed by state Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal to suggest ways to ensure complete safety and security of commuters in public transports. 

The committee has also been asked to look into the feasibility of installing CCTV cameras or other gadgets for greater surveillance and safety in buses.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday broke silence on the issue, expressing deep shock and outrage over the incident. Referring to the ownership of the bus company, he said: “The fact only adds to our responsibility. It is absurd even to think that the company's ownership would allow such brutality and brazenness to go unpunished.”

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