Bengal hits out at Bihar for compensation to rape victim

Kolkata, Jan 3 : The West Bengal government Friday accused its counterpart in Bihar of going "beyond its jurisdiction" in giving compensation to the family of the 16-year-old girl who was gang-raped twice and set ablaze.

Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim termed the move of the Bihar regime as "deplorable" and aimed at "reaping electoral dividend".

"The Bihar government has gone beyond its jurisdiction. We don't find merit in this," he said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs.1 lakh for the girl's family and deputed Director General (Special Branch) G.S. Gangwar to meet her parents in Kolkata.

"It is an attack on the country's federal structure. Had a person from Bengal been attacked in Bihar, would it have been proper if our government had gone there with offer of money?" asked Hakim.

He said Bengal Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra has already declared that the state government would give support to the victim's family.

"If they wanted to know something, the Bihar government could have enquired from the state administration," he said.

Gangwar met the girl's family Thursday.

Meanwhile, the girl's father saw nothing wrong in a Bihar officer meeting them and said he gave them moral support.

"We felt good that there was someone who came, met us and stood by our side," he said, adding none from the Bengal government has called on them.

The girl was gang-raped twice in October in Madhyamgram of North 24-Parganas district. She breathed her last Tuesday at a government hospital where she was admitted with severe burn injuries Dec 23.

Police have slapped murder charges against two accused, now under custody, based on the girl's dying declaration that the duo had set her ablaze.

--IANS (Posted on 03-01-2014)

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