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It’s CITU vs TMC as Kolkata protests against death of gangrape victim

Victim's father alleged that police asked him to leave Kolkata and return to Bihar with his daughter's body.

Written by Arshad Ali | Kolkata | January 2, 2014 4:12:49 pm

The new year began Wednesday with ugly protests and politics over the death of a 16-year-old gang rape victim in Kolkata. The victim,who was allegedly gangraped twice — on October 26 and 27,the second time when she was returning from the police station after filing a complaint — before being set on fire on December 23,died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

For over 30 hours after her death,her family was locked in a tussle with the police over her funeral,even as the CITU and Trinamool Congress picked sides.

“My daughter’s body was released by the hospital authorities at 5:30 pm (on Tuesday) and handed over to us. CITU leaders said they would hold a protest rally on Wednesday morning. But the police forcibly took away the body… We were told that we could not be allowed to cause a law and order problem on New Year’s Eve,” said the father of the victim.

The police took the body to the crematorium at Nimtala in North Kolkata,but they could not go ahead with the funeral as they did not have the death certificate. “The death certificate was with us. In the tussle over the body,the police did not take the death certificate,” said the father. The body was finally left at the crematorium for the night.

Early on Wednesday,a police team reached the victim’s house but could not find the death certificate. Meanwhile,a crowd started gathering at the crematorium,and the police resorted to lathicharge.

The body was then taken to the CITU office at about 9 am and kept there for nearly six hours,as the victim’s family members went to Raj Bhawan to petition the Governor. At about 3 pm,a funeral procession was organised and the last rites were performed.

CITU leaders including general secretary Shyamal Chakraborty took a leading role,accusing the Mamata Banerjee government of trying to hush up the crime. They claimed the victim’s father,a taxi driver,is a CITU member. 

But Trinamool Congress accused the Opposition of “indulging in dirty politics with the dead”. “In spite of the arrest of the accused, the Left leaders and certain other sections of society are playing dirty politics to malign the image of the state government,” said party general secretary Mukul Roy.

Meanwhile,the victim’s father,who has taken shelter in the CITU office,said,“I will stay in Kolkata and fight… I will see this to the finish. I have nothing to lose.” He alleged that SP,North 24 Parganas,Tanmoy Roy Chowdhury,and OC,Airport Police Station,Dilip Hazra,were putting pressure on him to return to Bihar. “Had there been prompt action my daughter would have been alive,” he said.

Denying the allegation,Roy Chowdhury said,“I have never had any word with the victim’s father”.

“These allegations are not true. There have been two arrests in the case so far and the investigations are going on,” said Hazra.

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