| BJP leader Kiron Ghai at a news meet in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
A Bihar police team, which was sent to Bengal to meet the family members of a 16-year-old gang rape and murder victim, returned to Patna on Saturday and subsequently briefed chief minister Nitish Kumar about it.
The team headed by inspector-general Jitendra Singh Gangwar also met chief minister’s principal secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and apprised him of the action taken by the Bengal police in connection with the incident. Gangwar is likely to submit a detailed report to the government on Monday.
Home department principal secretary Amir Subhani said: “Gangwar has not submitted any report so far. But he has apprised the state government of the action initiated against the accused by the Bengal police in connection with the incident.”
Subhani said Gangwar had been sent to Bengal as the victim’s family originally hailed from Samastipur. “We are not associated with the investigation of the case as the incident happened in the area falling under the jurisdiction of Bengal government. But we have shown our solidarity with the aggrieved family at the hour of crisis,” he added.
Sources in the police headquarters said Gangwar, posted with the intelligence wing — special branch, urged the Bengal police officers to conduct speedy trial against the accused to ensure justice to the victim’s family.
However, it could not be confirmed whether the police officer appealed to book the accused under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, as the victim was a minor.
Gangwar also handed over a letter of the state police chief, Abhayanand, to his Bengal counterpart. Abhayanand is learnt to have appealed from the Bengal police to conduct an in-depth investigation and trial of the accused on a “priority basis”. Gangwar also handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to the victim’s father, a taxi driver by profession.
Meanwhile, the members of the women cell of the BJP on their return from Bengal said on Sunday: “The Bengal government, like the December 2012 Delhi gang rape case, should initiate fast probe and trial in the case and the accused persons involve in the incident be punished soon.”
Senior BJP leader and MLC Kiron Ghai said: “The delegation also demanded from the Bengal government to provide Rs 10 lakh as compensation and security to the family members.” She said the compensation paid by the Bihar government to the family was not sufficient.
Sushma Sahu, another member of the delegation, said the victim’s family complained that two out of the eight accused persons were still at large. “Only six accused have been arrested. Two others are still absconding. We apprehend threat from the accused,” Sahu quoted the victim’s father as saying.
Apart from Ghai, former minister and Bettiah MLA Renu Devi and Nilam Sahni had visited Calcutta and met the aggrieved family members.
On the other hand, the victim’s parents will meet President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 7 to demand a CBI probe into the death of the 16-year-old girl.
The parents will also tell the President about how police allegedly harassed them by forcibly taking their daughter’s body for cremation after she died of burn injuries on December 31.
The girl had allegedly set herself on fire following threats from relatives and friends of the accused to drop the case.