Itís CITU vs TMC as Kolkata protests against death of gangrape victim

The new year began Wednesday with ugly protests and politics over the death of a 16-year-old gang rape victim in Kolkata. The victim, who was allegedly gangraped twice ó on October 26 and 27, the second time when she was returning from the police station after filing a complaint ó before being set on fire on December 23, died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

For over 30 hours after her death, her family was locked in a tussle with the police over her funeral, even as the CITU and Trinamool Congress picked sides.

"My daughter's body was released by the hospital authorities at 5:30 pm (on Tuesday) and handed over to us. CITU leaders said they would hold a protest rally on Wednesday morning. But the police forcibly took away the body... We were told that we could not be allowed to cause a law and order problem on New Year's Eve," said the father of the victim.

The police took the body to the crematorium at Nimtala in North Kolkata, but they could not go ahead with the funeral as they did not have the death certificate. "The death certificate was with us. In the tussle over the body, the police did not take the death certificate," said the father. The body was finally left at the crematorium for the night.

Early on Wednesday, a police team reached the victim's house but could not find the death certificate. Meanwhile, a crowd started gathering at the crematorium, and the police resorted to lathicharge.

The body was then taken to the CITU office at about 9 am and kept there for nearly six hours, as the victim's family members went to Raj Bhawan to petition the Governor. At about 3 pm, a funeral procession was organised and the last rites were performed.

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