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Protest ends with ‘compromise’,father claims body

The protests over the mysterious death of a 20-year-old girl in Jind,which had taken a turn for the worse with politicians entering the fray,finally ended on Friday

Written by Khushboo Sandhu | Jind | Updated: April 8, 2014 3:59:34 pm

The protests over the mysterious death of a 20-year-old girl in Jind,which had taken a turn for the worse with politicians entering the fray,finally ended on Friday.

After a meeting with officials,the father claimed the body and it was taken to their village. The cremation will take place tomorrow.

The officials reached a compromise with the family,assuring them that they would recommend a CBI inquiry into the girl’s death. For the moment,however,the case will be investigated by the Hisar SP. One person from the family will also be given a government job,they were told.

The agitation,which began after the body was found last Saturday,was allegedly hijacked by some “emerging leaders” and the girl’s family was sidelined. Even as the the body was putrefying fast after three postmortems —- all of which ruled out rape —- the protesters insisted that the Congress government was trying to hush up the matter. The body was kept in a glass coffin at the Civil Hospital in Jind,where the agitators were camping.

The chain of events dates back to August 26,when the body of a Dalit girl,who was missing for a day,was found in the fields on the outskirts of the village in Jind district of Haryana. The family alleged that she was raped and murdered. The accusations of rape could not be proved,with subsequent postmortem reports negating the same. The agitators,however,continued to protest,raising several demands.

A series of negotiation were held with the administration,including the Deputy Commissioner and SP. During a meeting of the Joint Action Committee this morning,differences emerged regarding many of the demands.

Despite efforts to keep the agitation apolitical,leaders from different parties brought up issues like oppression of Dalits. Protesters said that local BSP leaders were involved in the protests.

The Jind civil hospital became the centre for the protests as residents from various districts of Haryana gathered there when the body arrived. For the last two days,the body was kept in a refrigerated coffin and politicians used it as a platform for making statements using loudspeakers,causing immense inconvenience to patients and doctors.

In all the drama,the girl’s family had little say. Earlier in the day,the girl’s father said,“I just want this to end now. I want an honourable end for my daughter who is no more.” However,he added that he would abide by the decision of the Joint Action Committee.

‘She wanted to study,earn for family’

She was the only one in the family who wanted to study and contribute financially to supplement the meagre income of her parents. Her death left her family grappling with questions and an agitation that they could not fully comprehend.

Living in a dilapidated two-room house in a village in Jind district,the family of seven lived on the income of the parents,who are daily wagers.

The 20-year-old girl who died had an elder sister who is married and three younger brothers who are studying.

Her mother says,“‘I would have gotten her married like my elder daughter. But she wanted to study further. Among my children she was the most brainy. She wanted to get a job after completing her course.’’

The mother recalls how the family spent a sleepless night going from one police station to another looking for their daughter. She was missing for a day before her body was traced.

An acquaintance informed them about the body. The mother says the body had several injury marks,which suggest that she was raped. She refuses to believe the theory that her daughter committed suicide.

‘’If she had to eat poison she would have done it at home. She had gone to take her compartment (JBT) exam. My daughter cannot commit suicide. She used to study,help with the housework and also worked in the fields on holidays.’’

Her father was at the site of the protest and finally took the decision to take the body home. During the agitation,his constant refrain was that he would go by what the Joint Action Committee would say. After the issue reached a stalemate in the evening,he held a meeting with officials and agreed on taking the body home to be cremated on Saturday.

As the body reached the village along with a posse of officials of administration and police,some neighbours gathered to support the family. The scores of agitators who had gathered over the last few days were missing.

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