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Birbhum girl released From hospital to govt home

Suri, Jan. 31: The Birbhum girl who was allegedly gang-raped was today discharged from hospital and taken to a government home in the district along with her mother.

District officials said the girl, who spent nine days in the Suri district hospital, would be given training in sewing or handicrafts or any other skill of her choice at the home.

District magistrate J.P. Meena said: “We will help her develop skills of her choice. We will provide enough security to her when we send her to the house being built for her.”

Minister of state (independent charge) for women and child welfare, Sashi Panja, said the administration wanted to return the 20-year-old girl to normal life as soon as possible. “She was shifted to a home today. We will evaluate the situation before taking her to her new house,” Panja said.

A district official, however, said it would be difficult to rehabilitate the girl. The government is building two houses under the Amar Thikana scheme for the girl and her mother, residents of Subalpur, in another village.

“Initially, the girl wanted to go to her new house. But it will take a few more days to be completed. She will be shifted to the house only if the situation permits,” the official said.

The tribal girl had lodged a police complaint of gang rape against 13 persons of Subalpur, including the village head, on January 22. The same day, she had been admitted to the hospital, where her mother stayed with her.

In the past few days, the girl had been repeatedly requesting doctors to discharge her.

Last evening, the team of doctors treating her certified her fit and informed the hospital superintendent about her condition.

This morning, she was discharged from the gynaecology ward and shifted to the government home, escorted by police.

“Doctors said she was fit enough to be released. So we allowed her to go this morning,” said Asit Biswas, the superintendent of the hospital.

Sources said that before being discharged, the girl was told about the hostility towards her in Subalpur and its neighbouring villages.

“After learning about the situation, she agreed to stay at the government home,” a police officer said.

Sources in the district administration said the girl and her widowed mother would stay at the home for at least 15 days. Later, the district authorities will speak to villagers and ensure that the girl is accepted in the place where she will live.

“The residents of the village where the two houses are being constructed will have to accept the girl first. Only then can we send her there. We are trying our best to ensure that the girl leads a normal life,” the district official said.

Police sources said armed personnel would be deployed at the girl’s new house when she is sent there.

“We have to provide proper security to her. We will deploy armed security personnel outside her new house for the first few days. We hope the environment in the locality normalises soon,” a senior police officer said.