Politics over minor gangrape victim's death in Bengal

Kolkata, Jan 1 : The death of a minor gang-rape victim here took a political colour Wednesday after the opposition CPI-M accused the police of trying to forcibly cremate the victim's body against the family's wishes.

The ruling Trinamool Congress has rejected the Communist Party of India-Marxist's allegations.

The girl, who was allegedly raped twice in October and had subsequently set herself on fire as she was unable to bear the taunts and threats by her alleged molestors, Tuesday succumbed to her injuries in a government hospital here.

The victim's father - a taxi driver - said he would meet Governor M.K. Narayanan seeking death penalty for the rapists.

Shyamal Chakrabarty, president of the CPI-M-affiliated CITU (Centre of Indian Trade Unions), and the victim's father accused the police of trying to forcibly cremate the body.

"The police took away the body and wanted to cremate it. They even baton charged those who protested the move. But they couldn't cremate the body as they did not have the death certificate," said Chakraborty.

"There was so much drama over my daughter's body," said the inconsolable father after the body was retrieved from the crematorium and eventually brought to the CITU office in the city.

Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy, meanwhile, said: "The incident is highly condemnable ... the guilty have been arrested and are behind bars."

"While such an incident is highly unwarranted we feel the opposition has mentality of trying to malign and lower the esteem of the ruling party," he added.

The girl's family and civil society members took out a condolence march Wednesday and they proposed to submit a memorandum to the governor seeking death penalty for the rapists.

Though police have denied the allegation of forcibly taking the body for cremation, the Left Front will stage condemnation rallies across the state against the "police harassment" meted out to the victim's family.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women has taken cognizance of the case and will seek a report from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the action taken by her government.

"Had police rendered their job efficiently, the girl wouldn't have been brutalised a second time. We have taken cognizance of the case and will write to the chief minister seeking what action she has taken," NCW chair Mamta Sharma said.

--IANS (Posted on 01-01-2014)

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