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Damayanti starts probe

Damayanti Sen sought details of the probe into the alleged gang rape of a girl in Madhyamgram and her death and held meetings to decide the course of action on her first day as the high court-appointed special officer in the case.

Sources said Sen was yet to choose the officers who would assist her in the probe. The high court had on Monday given the deputy inspector-general of the CID (operations) a free hand in selecting her team and directed her to submit a report on February 10 after an “impartial probe”.

The court asked Sen to take over the probe following a petition by the girl’s father, who expressed his lack of faith in the inquiry by the state police and sought a CBI probe.

“She (Sen) held meetings with officers of the CID’s homicide wing and the special operations group about the case. We have got in touch with our counterparts in North 24-Parganas who have investigated the gang-rape case,” said a CID officer.

The CID also contacted the Bidhannagar commissionerate as the airport police station under it has registered a murder complaint.

According to CID sources, though Sen has not formally selected the officers who will work in her team, she has prepared a guideline for the probe. “She met around 10 officers and asked them to gather names of the witnesses,” said an officer. “We will also try to find out under what circumstances the family had to leave Madhyamgram.”

The 16-year-old had allegedly been gang-raped on October 26 and again the next day while she and her father were returning from Madhyamgram police station after lodging a complaint.

The family alleged that persistent threats to withdraw the complaint forced them to flee Madhyamgram. They moved into a rented accomodation near the airport, from where the girl was admitted to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital with severe burns on December 23. She died on December 31.

The girl had recorded a statement alleging that the landlord’s son Ratan Sil and one of his relatives, Minta, had set her on fire.

Ratan and Minta are behind bars, as are six others accused of raping the girl.