Cops wanted family to go to Ballia, not Delhi

FP

Hours after she was declared dead by doctors at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, the family of the gangrape victim grappled with another problem. It is learnt that Delhi Police, fearing a law and order problem once her body returned to Delhi, tried to coax the family to agree to perform the last rites at their native village in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. But the family was keen to bring her body home to Delhi. Finally, the central government intervened to let the family decide the choice of destination.

Sources said that within hours of her death, there was gentle pressure from police. "The family wants to return to Delhi with the body but there is pressure from police to head to Ballia. The family is reluctant. They want to get back home as soon as possible," the sources said.

The family, it is learnt, was in touch with police representatives throughout the day, even before the arrival in Singapore of three police officers to escort the family home on board a special aircraft. Numb with shock, the father of the victim agreed to do whatever the police said but others in the family insisted that they return home to Delhi, sources said.

By late evening, a middle path was suggested — the family could head back to Delhi, visit their home to meet relatives and friends, return to the airport and fly to Varanasi. But this idea too was dropped.

With confusion all around, the Centre stepped in, telling authorities that a decision on the cremation venue should be left to the family alone.

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