Kolkata/IBNS: A Class 9 girl has died after she was allegedly gang raped at a local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader’s son’s birthday party in West Bengal, sparking outrage after being “forcibly cremated” without autopsy, even as chief minister Mamata Banerjee waded through the row suggesting that the girl might have a relationship with the accused.
Reports said the underage daughter from Nadia district in South Bengal had joined the birthday party of local TMC chief Samar Gayali’s son, Brajagopal Gayali, at his home on April 4 (Monday). and at the end of the evening, some residents took her home with a serious illness. .
The 14-year-old girl’s family members were also said to have been “threatened” not to take her to a public or private hospital. They were also advised to take the girl to a local “quack doctor”.
Later on April 5 (Tuesday) early in the morning, the girl died at home. Her family members alleged that she was raped by the TMC leader’s son and his friends at the birthday party and died of excessive bleeding.
It was also alleged that his body was ‘cremated under pressure’ with kerosene in an ‘unregistered’ local crematorium, without an autopsy, medical test or even a death certificate.
The incident came to light on Saturday April 9 after her family filed a police complaint and local police converted her to FIR.
As of Saturday, TMC chief Samar Gayali and his family members have been “untraceable”, despite police arresting the main defendant in the case, Samar’s son Brajagopal Gayali.
Brajagopal was brought before a local court in Ranaghat in Nadia on Monday and was taken into custody for 14 days.
Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the High Court in Calcutta, demanding a CBI investigation into the incident.
The case is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday before the divisional bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj.
Mamata’s reaction triggers the line:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s reaction to the incident drew criticism after the CM indicated a “love affair” between the victim and the main defendant.
Asking her family why the complaint was filed five days after the incident, Mamata Banerjee said, “The girl died on April 5 and the police complaint was registered on April 10! If they had a complaint, then why didn’t they file it immediately? after the incident!”
She said, “The body was cremated without telling anyone! Now, how would the police investigate the matter!
Expressing doubts about the cause of the minor’s death and calling it a “small incident”, Mamata said, “The police have not yet figured out the cause of her death. I had asked them. Do you call it a rape or was she pregnant? Was it (the fallout of) a love story?” “Have you inquired about this? she asked a high-level cop at an event where she was speaking.
Calling it an ‘unfortunate’ incident, she said: ‘I speak as a layman without fully knowing the incident. From where will the police get the proof that the girl was raped or she was pregnant or if there was some other reason such that she was slapped by someone after which she fell ill. “
The chief minister claimed the girl victim had a ‘love affair’.
“She had a love affair. His family knew it, the neighbors knew it. If a boy and a girl are in a relationship, it is not possible for me to stop them. ‘” Banerjee said.
“If a crime is committed, action will be taken against those who participated in it. Action has already been taken. A defendant has been arrested,” she added.
The opposition reacts:
Opposition party leaders in the state said they were shocked after hearing the ‘reaction’ from the state’s chief minister.
Criticizing Mamata Banerjee’s statement on the incident, Bengal Opposition (LOP) Leader Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP said he would visit Hanskhali on Tuesday to meet the victim’s family members.
“The family is being forcibly detained at the local police station so that they cannot make any statement to the media,” Suvendu said.
Reacting to Mamata’s statement, BJP’s Amit Malviya tweeted: “Shocking statement from Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, which trivializes the brutal rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Nadia’s Hanskhali. She questions the victim and asks if it was a love affair or a case of an unplanned pregnancy gone wrong!Because the accused is the son of the leader of the TMC.
Shocking statement from Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, which trivializes the brutal rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Nadia’s Hanskhali. She interrogates the victim and asks him if it’s a love affair or an unplanned pregnancy gone wrong!
Because the accused is the son of the leader of the TMC. pic.twitter.com/ZaMFL73T03
—Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) April 11, 2022
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “There is no difference between the incidents of Hathras from UP and Hanskhali from Bengal. The police were involved in the ‘forcible cremation’ of the body from the victim to UP, and TMC is involved here in Nadia.”
“TMC and BJP are two sides of the same coin,” he added.
CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “What happened in Nadia’s Hanskhali is a shameful incident, and more shameful is the reaction of the chief minister of the state to it.”
Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Twitter that he had requested an “urgent response” from the chief secretary of state over the alleged gang-rape death incident of Hanskhali.