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Jharkhand Girl's Death A Case of Serial Lapses While Hemant Soren Is Busy Saving His Government

By: Aman Sharma

News18.com

Last Updated: September 01, 2022, 07:45 IST

New Delhi, India

Activists of Jharkhand Youth Bigrade raise slogans during a protest after the death of a class 12 student, who was allegedly set on fire by a man in Jharkhand's Dumka district, in Ranchi, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Activists of Jharkhand Youth Bigrade raise slogans during a protest after the death of a class 12 student, who was allegedly set on fire by a man in Jharkhand's Dumka district, in Ranchi, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Missteps galore as victim not air-lifted to better hospital, Sorens have not visited family, police mention wrong age of minor girl to avoid applying POCSO

The Hemant Soren government air-lifted its MLAs by a special flight from Ranchi to Raipur on Tuesday, two days after a minor girl from Dumka died in Ranchi’s RIMS hospital without getting such a chance to be flown off to a better medical facility.

A day before she died, while her condition was deteriorating on August 27, the ruling coalition’s MLAs were on a bus for a picnic at the Latratur dam with the CM trying to send a message of solidarity against “BJP’s attempts to bring down” his government. Worse, the police recorded the age of the girl as 19 years till a Juvenile Welfare Committee visited her home after her death to find out that she was not even 16 and the case has to be tried under the stringent POCSO Act rather than as a simple murder.

The POCSO Act mandates that the investigation in the cases is to be completed in two months and the trial be completed in six months. It also has the death penalty provision in extremely aggravated cases of violent death of minors.

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In the middle of a political crisis for Soren with the sword of disqualification as an MLA hanging over his head, the mishandling of the case has hurt the government’s image.

The girl was set on fire by two men, Shahrukh and Naeem, on the night of August 23 and she was taken to the Dumka medical college before being shifted to RIMS in Ranchi with nearly 90% burns. She died there on August 28, a development that has attracted the High Court’s ire which has clearly said that she should have been sent for treatment to a higher centre. The HC stipulated a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team, saying criminals in the state do not have any fear of law.

The Soren government did announce a Rs 10 lakh compensation for the family but the chief minister or his family members have not paid the girl’s parents a visit, a point that the BJP is raising to portray that the CM has different priorities.

A BJP delegation reached Dumka on Wednesday to meet the family and has slammed the role of a police officer, Noor Mustafa, in the probe and for terming the victim a major. He was later removed from the investigation.

The pressure is now on the Soren government to salvage its image by ensuring a fast-track probe and trial with locals demanding the death sentence for the two accused in the case.

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first published:August 31, 2022, 18:55 IST
last updated:September 01, 2022, 07:45 IST