Women’s bodies doubt ‘whether family will get justice at all’

Women's organisations Friday sent a letter to West Bengal government seeking an impartial investigation into the gangrape and killing of a 16-year-old minor girl in the state.

In the letter addressed to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, the members of various women's and students' organisations charged that the "police directly under your control acted in a manner which not only further victimised her (the victim) and her family but eventually led to her murder".

"We strongly believe that if your government had acted against the criminals after she was gangraped on October 25, the subsequent horrific events could have been prevented and the woman's life could have been saved," reads the letter.

Referring to the allegation that the girl was set on fire by the culprits involved in the matter, the letter stated that "police tried to cover up the case saying it was the outcome of a quarrel between landlord and tenant".

The girl was taken to a hospital which had no burn unit despite demands that she be shifted to one which did, the letter said.

"As you (Bengal CM) hold the Health Ministry, couldn't you, or on your direction, any senior government official, have intervened to ensure that the victim was not denied the specialised medical care she required?," the letter adds.

The letter slams as outrageous the alleged case of police forcibly taking away her body in order to cremate it and putting pressure on her father to give them the death certificate which would have allowed them to do so.

"Such brutal behaviour on part of the police and the administration raises doubts as to whether the family of the victim would be able to get justice at all," the letter said.

"We therefore demand that the government hand over the investigation to an impartial agency which should be court monitored," is said.

... contd.

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