Patna/Banka Dec. 29: The death of the Delhi gang rape victim in Singapore early this morning has numbed Bihar.
Even as protests against the incident continued in the state capital, chief minister Nitish Kumar postponed his Rajgir tour to show solidarity with the victim’s family.
The rallies, which were supposed to be vociferous, have gone silent after the girl’s death. Women took out a silent procession under the banner of Socialist Unity Centre of India from Kargil Chowk to Dakbungalow intersection. The anger was writ large on the protesters’ face.
With banners and posters in their hands, they walked through the thoroughfares, demanding strict laws to punish the offenders. On reaching the Dakbungalow intersection, the protesters held a meeting. The speakers expressed concern over rising incidents of rape across the country.
The city has witnessed a series of protests ever since the student was gang raped in the national capital. Hardly a day has passed without any rally. Right from school children to students of colleges, the residents of the capital came out on the streets to register their anger.
The residents of Aurangabad were shocked to know that one of the accused belonged to the district. Akshay Thakur was arrested from his native village, Lahankarma, under Tandwa police station on December 21 and subsequently taken to New Delhi on transit remand. Thakur was the conductor of the bus in which the girl was raped.
The chief minister postponed his visit to Rajgir and other engagements in Nalanda. Nitish, who reached Patna today after attending a meeting of the National Development Council in New Delhi, was quick to react over the death of the girl. The CM’s secretariat issued a statement saying that Nitish was “shocked over the death of the girl, who fought till she breathed her last”. It quoted him as saying: “I extend my deep grief and sorrow over the death of the girl, who showed exemplary courage and fought till her death.”
Nalanda district magistrate Sanjay Agarwal said the chief minister’s engagements on Saturday and Sunday have been postponed.
Nitish was supposed to take part in the ongoing Rajgir Mahotsav and stay in Rajgir for four days. He was also scheduled to inaugurate seven road projects worth Rs 77.23 crore at Kargil Chowk in Biharsharif during the period. The list of projects included vital roads in Rajgir and other historical places such as Pawapuri and Nalanda
The state government has in the meantime started taking extra care of a rape victim in Banka. After over a week since she was admitted to the Banka sadar hospital, the Class X student of a government school at Barfara village in the district, around 365km southeast of Patna, was today given vegetable soup and a preparation of paneer to ensure she gets maximum calories.
The girl was gang raped while returning home from school on December 15. She was admitted to the hospital three days later.
Health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey is personally monitoring her situation from Patna. “I have instructed the doctors and senior health officers to keep a close watch on her. They are keeping me posted regularly,” he told The Telegraph over phone from Patna.