Claiming that women are now "not safe" in Jharkhand, the BJP has wondered why Chief Minister Hemant Soren remained silent over the death of a Class-12 student who was allegedly set on fire by a man.
The saffron party leaders, including former Jharkhand chief ministers Raghubar Das and Babulal Marandi, demanded that the person involved in the heinous crime be punished through trial in a fast-track court.
However, the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) accused the BJP leaders of trying to do "communal politics" over the incident and said the state government also wants stringent punishment in it.
Das, who is also the BJP national vice president, said, "A woman was burnt to death but the chief minister is maintaining silence. Isn’t it a politics of appeasement? We have seen Nadeem (Ansari), an accused in the Ranchi violence, was sent to Delhi in an air ambulance for better treatment at the government cost, while the 19-year-old woman with burn injuries was not looked after properly."
Violent protests rocked Ranchi on June 10 over the inflammatory remarks of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Mohammad.
Das demanded that the government must extend a compensation of Rs one crore and a job to the next of kin of the woman who succumbed to her burn injuries at a hospital here on Sunday.
The incident happened in Dumka town on August 23 when the accused, identified as Shahrukh, allegedly poured petrol on the woman from outside the window of her room when she was sleeping and set her on fire, the police said.
The deceased had been first admitted to Phulo Jhano Medical College and Hospital in Dumka in critical condition with 90 per cent burns and later referred to Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) for better treatment.
"Dumka’s heinous incident proves that women are not safe under the Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand. In the past 32 months, more than 5,000 cases of rape registered in the state," state BJP president Deepak Prakash alleged on Sunday at the party's 'Prasikshan Shivir' at Madhuban in Giridih district.
The Rajya Sabha MP also said that "when the woman was burnt to death, the chief minister was enjoying picnic"
The accused should be awarded exemplary punishment through trial in a fast-track court, he said.
Former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi said the woman died due to a "lack of proper treatment".
Responding to the BJP leaders' comments, JMM spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said, "Dumka incident was condemnable. The BJP should refrain from doing communal politics over it. The government also wants punishment through trial in the fast track court."
Prohibitory order has been clamped in the Dumka sub-division on Sunday following protests by some right-wing outfits after the death of the woman.
Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists had staged a demonstration at Dudhani Chowk in Dumka town.
(With PTI inputs)