Students took to the streets in large numbers on Monday to protest the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl at Sonadanga village of Ranitala in Murshidabad.
In a sombre observance of protest against the grisly incident, students from across different schools in the Ranitala area walked a silent rally and gave voice to the sense of outrage over the perceived spiral in incidents of crime against women. The teachers too joined the protest.
The victim, a student of Class 9 at the Kolhan High School in Raninagar, reportedly went missing on June 11. Her body was later found in a decomposed state in a jute field at her native village, prompting claims by family that she was raped and murdered. Her kin further alleged that the district police refused to lodge a rape complaint and asked them to sign a watered down version drafted by them. It was alleged that the police complaint had no reference to the word rape.
The rally drew robust numbers from a host of schools in the Raninagar area, including those from a nearby Madhyamik Siksha Kendra. While voicing outrage over the lack of security for women, the protestors also called for the immediate arrest of all culprits.
“We feel the police are under pressure to go slow in the case. The locals here have been fearing for their women after what happened to my sister, but not one police picket has been set up in our neighbourhood in the wake of the incident,” the brother of the victim said. “As many as five members of our neighbour Hakdar Sheikh’s family, along with four of his distant relatives, are involved in the case,” he added.
Murshidabad SP Humayun Kabir has since drawn massive outrage from netizens over his alleged refusal to entertain a rape complaint in the case.