Politics raises ugly head on New year, parties battle for rape victim's body

To add to the tragedy over the death of a minor gangrape victim in Kolkata on New Year's Eve, political parties having been fighting among themselves to claim the body for political advantage.

Despite the father's repeated appeals to all political parties to stay away from them, as the family had no political affiliations, leaders of some parties tried to get hold of the body to hold protests in the city. Ignoring resistance from the family, the Kolkata Police shifted the body to the Nimtala crematorium. However, early on Wednesday morning, CITU workers snatched the body from the police and took it to their office.

Even as some rights activists expressed outrage over the incident, leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress dismissed the episode as a "conspiracy" against the government.

While it was widely believed that the victim tried to set herself ablaze, it has come to light now that the 16-year-old girl in her final statement told the police that she was set on fire by her assailants. The police have now lodged a complaint of murder and gangrape against the arrested suspects in the case.

The family members of the victim originally hail from Samastipur in Bihar and had settled in Madhyamgram of North 24 Paragana to get their children educated. It is learnt that the second gang rape of the girl happened after she dared to lodge a police complaint about the first attack on her.

Following constant threats from the accused, the family left Madhyamgram and settled at Dum Dum in the outskirts of Kolkata a couple of months ago.

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