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Birbhum girl homesick

Suri, Jan. 29: The Birbhum girl who was allegedly gang-raped on the order of a salishi sabha no longer wants to stay in hospital.

The girl told doctors and the minister of state (independent charge) for women and child welfare, Sashi Panja, today that she was feeling uncomfortable in the hospital. She asked the doctors of the Suri hospital about her health and urged them to discharge her.

A doctor said: “We have examined her. She is medically fit now and has been taking normal food. She told us about the problems she was facing in the hospital environment. We understand her discomfort in staying in the gynaecology ward with patients who often groan in pain. She can be discharged now.”

Hospital sources said the girl would be requested to stay for a few more days.

Panja spoke to her over the phone today. “She told me about her wish to leave the hospital. She doesn’t want to stay there any longer. We know she is medically fit. However, she needs counselling and has to be kept under observation for a few more days. Every patient faces problems in staying in a hospital after he or she recovers,” said Panja, a doctor.

Today, a gynaecologist and a psychiatrist examined the Birbhum girl. “After we told her she was fit, she requested us to discharge her. She wants to go to her new home,” a doctor said.

However, a section of doctors and district officials said the girl would not be discharged until the process of her counselling is over.

“She has been in the hospital for a week. She doesn’t know what is happening outside — how the tribal society has reacted following the (alleged) gangrape. She wants to go to her new home but the house is yet to be completed. Also, we have to think twice before letting the girl and her mother live in the houses,” a senior district official said.

The Birbhum administration is building two houses for the girl and her mother in another village. Many villagers in the area where the houses are being built have objected to the girl living there.

“We have to evaluate the situation first before the girl is shifted to the new house. We are worried about her security in the place where she will live,” a district official said.

Many residents of Subalpur, where the girl used to live and was allegedly gang-raped, have also said they would not allow the girl to return to the village.

Police took the 13 persons arrested for the alleged gangrape to the Suri district hospital, where a pathologist collected their blood samples for a DNA test.

Yesterday, the police had requested a Bolpur court to allow them to conduct DNA tests on the girl and the 13 accused. The girl’s blood sample has been collected.

A senior police officer said: “We will send the samples to the Central Forensic and Science Laboratory in Calcutta. Later, they are likely to be sent to the Hyderabad CFSL.”

Representatives of the Bharat Jakat Majhi Maroa, an all-India social welfare organisation of tribals, met Birbhum police chief Alok Rajoria this evening and sought permission for a meeting of village heads in Subalpur on Sunday.

The outfit will organise the meeting. Rajoria said: “We will take a decision on whether to allow the meeting after getting a written application from them.”