After being missing for 80 days, the 14-year old who had been abducted and allegedly raped, returned. Lalitha Kumarmangalam, chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) who visited the girl’s place on Monday said that she was happy her trip ended on a happy note. “The Chief Secretary had told me that the girl had returned and doesn’t want to return to her father’s place,” Kumaramangalam said.
Police said that the girl had been found under Sonarpur PS. “She had contacted the police station and told them about her location. We met her there and retrieved her. She claimed that she had come on her own free will and had been living alone,” said Sunil Choudhury, SP, South 24 Parganas. He also said that she would be produced before the judicial magistrate on Tuesday and if she didn’t want to stay at her father’s place, she would be kept at a Home.
BJP leaders, who had put up a sit-in demonstration at Magrahat which had ran into its fifth day, claimed all the credit to themselves for her return. “It proves that we have to put up a demonstration every time an incident like this occurs. We urge the administration to ensure that no other girl has to face such fate,” said state BJP president Rahul Sinha.
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Earlier Monday Kumaramangalam had said that women were not safe in Bengal. “In the last six months, I have received six complaints from Bengal and I am coming here for the second time in four months. It means women’s liberty is at risk in West Bengal. It means women are extremely dis-empowered
and that women are treated very badly, I can go on and on. Women are not so safe which I used to think they are in West Bengal. All my summers were spent in Bengal because my mother belonged here and we romped around without any apprehension. Those seem to have changed for the worse,” she said after talking visiting the residence of the 14-year-old girl.
The TMC too, had reacted sharply to the comments of Kumarmangalam. In a tweet today, TMC spokesperson Derek O’ Brien had said, “Women in Bengal are very safe. Madame, before you make sweeping statements, may we ask you two questions, How safe are “you” in Delhi? Is this a political statement you are making…?”
Family members of the accused, Babushona Gaji alias Abdul Gaffar are breathing easy now. “We have been spending sleepless nights and most of the male members of the family were not at home because police used to come at any time and take them to the police station for interrogation. Even my son, who is the accused, is not at home and it had been made to look like we have done a severe crime even before it had been proved,” said Fajila Bibi, Gaji’s mother and added that since the girl and her family had got all the media attention, they were tagged as the victim and the Gaji’s family was made to look like the offender.
She had admitted that the girl had come to their place once and along with Gaji she had tried to elope and had returned later but denied all allegations of an abduction for the second time. “My son is being framed. He is just a student of Class X and is not capable of an abduction,” she said.
The girl’s family was being sheltered at a place provided by the Hindu Samhati – a Hindu organization. Tapan Ghosh, president of the organization said that the “abducted” minor girl has returned as Hindu Samhati mounted a strong campaign and moved the court seeking her return and punishment to the culprits.