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Bengal Teen Dies, 'Forcibly Cremated' After Gangrape at B'day Party, Son of TMC Leader Held; Matter in HC

The main accused being taken to court. (Image: News18)

The main accused being taken to court. (Image: News18)

The parents said their daughter was bleeding profusely and had severe abdominal pain after she came back from the party at the residence of the local TMC leader's son

A minor girl died after she was allegedly gang-raped at a birthday party in Hanskhali in West Bengal’s Nadia district, police said on Sunday. The girl’s family claimed that the main accused is the son of a Trinamool Congress panchayat member, who has been arrested for further investigation, they said.

The parents of the 14-year-old girl, a student of Class 9, lodged a complaint against the accused at Hanskhali police station on Saturday, four days after the incident.

The prime accused in the case, Brajagopal alias Sohail Gayali, who was first detained and then arrested last night, and left for the Ranaghat court on Monday. He has been slapped with POCSO charges, apart from rape, murder and suppression of evidence, officials said.

Meanwhile, two PILs have been filed in the Calcutta High Court to seek legal intervention in the case. According to sources, a HC bench may hear the matter on Tuesday.

According to the complaint, the girl went to the residence of the accused on Monday afternoon to attend his birthday party, but she returned home in an ailing condition and died soon after.

‘Forcibly Cremated’

Our daughter was bleeding profusely and had severe abdominal pain after she came back from the party at the residence of the local TMC leader’s son, and before we could take her to hospital, she died. “From the sequence of events and after talking to the people present at the party, we are sure she was gang-raped by the accused and his friends,” the girl’s mother told reporters.

She also alleged that a group of people forcibly took the minor’s body for cremation even before her death certificate was issued. The family has also alleged that the group initially warned them to not take the girl to any government hospital or private healthcare facility and ‘to get her treated by a local ‘quack’ instead’.

The victim was reportedly “the love interest” of one Brajagopal Gayali, son of local Trinamool panchayat leader and strongman Samarendra Gayali, and was invited to Brajagopal’s birthday celebrations at his home on Monday evening.

The victim’s family was initially conveyed that the girl has “fallen ill” at the party and was strongly advised to take her to a quack doctor, which the family did, they said.

Meanwhile, the parents of the victim, the quack doctor and a crematorium attendant have been brought to the Ranaghat court for registering their statements before the judicial magistrate. According to sources, the quack doctor said he had administered pain killers to the victim and did not issue a death certificate. The crematorium attendant has said she was not at the crematorium when the body was brought there, and had reached the venue after the body was already in flames, sources said.

The parents have said they did not possess a death certificate.

The details of the case ring back to the Hathras murder and gangrape case in 2020, where a young Dalit girl had died after being gangraped in Uttar Pradesh. The family had alleged forcible cremation of the victim by the police, with members barred from attending. The incident had spurred protests across India, especially by Dalit groups and political bodies.

TMC Says Will Ensure Justice, BJP Plans Protest

The Trinamool Congress has ordered an organizational inquiry into the incident.

Reacting to the development, senior TMC leader and the state’s Minister of Women and Child Development, Sashi Panja, had said the ruling party has zero tolerance for abuse of minors and women. There should not be any politics over the incident. Police will do everything possible to investigate and take further action, she said.

The opposition BJP has called a 12-hour protest bandh in Hanskhali PS area on Monday. The party’s mahila morcha president Tanuja Chakraborty is also scheduled to visit the family.

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first published:April 10, 2022, 23:37 IST