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Houses for girl, mom amid anger

Subalpur, Jan. 27: The Birbhum administration is building two houses for the girl allegedly gang-raped last week and her mother on a plot owned by the family in another village, where residents have said they will not allow the two to stay with them.

District magistrate J.P. Meena today said the two-roomed houses were being built for Rs 70,000 each under Amar Thikana, a scheme implemented by the rural development department for those who own land.

“We are building the houses for the mother and daughter because they wanted to stay in the village where they own land,” Meena said, adding that the 20-year-old girl had repeatedly refused to return home in Subalpur fearing a reprisal.

The girl has been admitted to a hospital in Suri. Her mother is staying with her.

Birbhum police today set up an eight-member team to probe the alleged gang rape and have detained for interrogation the mason with whom the girl was said to have an affair and his brother. The two were brought yesterday from an undisclosed location in Jharkhand, sources said.

A three-member judicial team, led by acting district judge Subhabrata Mitra, visited the girl’s village earlier in the day to draw up a report on the alleged gang rape following an instruction from the Supreme Court on Friday.

Members of the 30-odd families who reside in the village where the girl’s mother has a “small plot” in her name said they would not allow the two to enter their hamlet as the girl had brought a bad name to Subalpur, where she stayed.

It could not be immediately confirmed how much land the victim’s mother owns.

Babulal Tudu, a 45-year-old farm labourer in the village where the houses are being built since Saturday, said: “We don’t want the girl to come and live with us. She entered into a relationship with a man from outside the community and brought us shame. We don’t believe the allegations she has levelled against the 12 villagers and the village head. We fear she might frame us someday.”

The villagers had on Saturday gheraoed two tractors carrying bricks and another transporting sand to the plot. They also thumped on the bonnet of the cars of block development officer Jibankrishna Biswas and circle inspector of Nanoor S.P. Mitra.

The BDO today said the district officials had managed to persuade the villagers. “Initially the villagers objected, but we managed to pacify them,” BDO Biswas said.

A district official, however, doubted if the villagers would at all accept the mother-daughter after the houses were ready.

The DM though asserted that “there will be not any problem”. “Police will ensure their safety.”

Meena said that apart from the houses, the administration would also help the girl’s mother to get a widow pension.