The discovery of the body of a teenage girl in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur triggered violence in a part of the district on Sunday with a group of about 200 people blocking NH31 and setting three government buses and a police vehicle on fire in Chopra.
The Opposition BJP said the girl was the sister of a local party leader, and alleged that she was raped and murdered by a TMC leader. The ruling TMC denied the allegation and accused the BJP of trying to “instigate a section of people and disturb peace”.
Police described the cause of death as the “effect of poison” and said there were no signs of physical or sexual assault. No arrest has been recorded yet, they said.
Sources said the girl had cleared the Class 10 state board exams last week, and had gone “missing” from her home Saturday night. Her family found her body under a tree Sunday morning, and she was declared brought dead at the sub-divisional hospital, they said.
The incident triggered tension in the area, with police resorting to a lathicharge to disperse a group of people that had gathered to demand the arrest of those, it claimed, were the culprits.
But soon, more people joined the group and targeted buses and the police vehicle. They also placed tyres on the road and set them ablaze, and pelted stones at policemen who fired tear gas shells.
The situation was brought under control after more policemen, along with personnel of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Combat Force, were pressed into service.
Taking to Twitter, West Bengal Police posted on its official handle that they had received “reliable information about the death of a young girl”.
“Family members or any other associated persons didn’t inform Police. Police contacted the family and sent the body for Post Mortem. Inquest by a magistrate and videography of the Post Mortem was done. As per the PM report, cause of death is ‘effect of poison’. No injury marks anywhere in the body has been found. There is no sign of sexual or physical assault,” it said.
It said that a law and order “problem has been created over the issue, yet no complaint has been lodged with police”.
Posting a purported photo of the teenaged girl with the face blurred, a post on the official Twitter handle of the West Bengal BJP unit asked whether she had paid “the price of being the sister” of the local leader. “And sadly, a state governed by a woman CM cannot protect,” it said.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha blamed a TMC leader for the alleged rape and murder. “We demand the immediate arrest of the culprits. They should be booked and action initiated against them,” he said. Later, state BJP vice-president Raju Banerjee staged a sit-in in the area.
Kanaia Lal Agarwal, TMC district president said: “There is no political connection to the incident. The police are investigating the matter. The BJP is desperately trying to give a political colour to the incident, instigate a section of people and disturb peace.”
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