Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday took the incident of gang-rape and subsequent killing of a ‘daughter of Bihar’ in Kolkata seriously and despatched a senior IPS officer to get first hand information about the incident and coordinate with the West Bengal officials to ensure justice to the victim’s family.
Kumar also announced Rs 1 lakh compensation for the victim’s family.
“We have taken up the issue of gang-rape of a daughter of the state seriously. We have sent IG, Special branch G S Gangwar to Kolkata to gather information on the rape incident and coordinate with the West Bengal officials for necessary legal action against the culprits,” Bihar home secretary Amir Subhani said.
The issue is politically relevant to Nitish because the victim is from Samastipur, which has concentration of extremely backward castes (EBCs) and mahadalit population. Kumar by his act, wants to address this critical political constituency.
The girl was first gang-raped on October 25 and found lying in a field near her house. Two days later, she was forcibly taken away by the same gang and gang-raped again when she was returning home with her parents after lodging a complaint with the local police station. The victim died on December 31, following burn injuries. Her family members had claimed that she was burnt alive by the culprits.
Bihar state women’s commission has, in the meanwhile, asked West Bengal government to take stern action against people involved in the gang rape and alleged killing of the Bihari girl.
Chairperson of the state women’s commission Kehkashan Parveen has written to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee seeking stringent action against the policemen, who did not react to the FIR lodged by the victim against her tormentors.
“The role of the cops is quite doubtful and it needed to be probed. They tried to cover up the crime and protect the criminals. Had some action been taken, the culprits would not have dared to rape her again and then set her on fire,” she said.
Parveen said, exactly after a year of the rape incident in Delhi, it has been repeated in Kolkata. “People involved in the Delhi incident have been punished. Strict action needs to be taken against the alleged culprits in this incident,” she said.
To protest the West Bengal government’s alleged ‘inaction’ over gang-rape of a Bihari teenager, the CPM and CPI-ML, Bihar’s two major left parties, have decided to hold statewide demonstrations on Friday.
State CPM secretary Vijay Kant Thakur said, party workers would burn effigies of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to protest her ‘anti-Bihari attitude’ and demand the dismissal of her government.
He said the CPM would expose the failure of the West Bengal government in ensuring justice to the minor girl. “The West Bengal government has failed to book the culprits. The first arrest in the case was made only on Wednesday,” he said.
CPI-ML state secretary Kunal also said that he was in touch with CPM to hold protest march or dharna over the rape incident.
The CPI-ML has already dispatched a fact-finding team led by AIPWA general secretary Meena Tiwari to Samastipur, where the workers were holding dharna and demonstration to protest the gang-rape in Kolkata.
However, CPI state secretariat member Mohammad Jabbar Alam said the issue would be discussed by the party’s state secretariat before taking a final decision to organize a protest on the minor’s gang-rape in Kolkata. The CPI would also take the views of other left parties on the issue, he said.