Sunday, June 4, 2023

Bengal gang rape victim was set on fire by others, say parents


Kolkata, Jan 1 (IANS) A 16-year-old gang rape victim, who died of high degree burns, was set on fire by attackers and not by herself, the girl’s parents said Wednesday.

The girl was subjected to the brutality a second time after she filed a police complaint about being gang raped by six people.

She and her family were subjected to constant taunts and threats and Dec 23 she was hospitalised in a critical condition after she reportedly set herself on fire unable to bear the continuous humiliation.

The girl’s parents, however, have claimed that she was set ablaze by others and did not attempt suicide. She even told police about this in her statement before her death Tuesday, they added.

“My daughter told police that she was set on fire by others. They doused her and then lit a match. They bolted the door from outside and went away,” said the mother who had gone out to the market on the fateful day.

The father, a taxi driver, also said his daughter told police that she was set on fire by others who used to harass her.

“The door was bolted from outside, when my wife came back she raised an alarm and the neighbours later rushed my daughter to the hospital. Maybe she was put on fire by those who have been harassing and taunting her,” he said.

While six people have been arrested for the girl’s rape and death, the family, which last year migrated from Bihar and settled in Madhyamgram in North 24-Parganas district, was forced to relocate after being subjected to threats and humiliation following the arrest of the accused.

The father during the day met Governor M.K. Narayanan and sought death penalty for the girl’s tormentors as well as security for his family after being allegedly threatened and harassed by police.

“Police have threatened me, asking me to go back to Bihar. I have also been threatened that I would not be allowed to drive a taxi here,” said the man who also expressed apprehension of attack to his family.

The incident has led to political tussle after police earlier in the day allegedly tried to forcibly cremate the body.

While the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress have accused the administration of trying to suppress facts by attempting to cremate the body forcibly, police refuted the allegation.

The ruling Trinamool Congress on the other hand has dubbed the allegation as an attempt by the opposition to malign it.

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