The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday sought a report from the Jharkhand director general of police on the death of the teenaged girl who succumbed after being set afire by a man apparently after she spurned his advances.
The state government’s decision to send another teenager, who is an acid attack victim, to AIIMS in New Delhi for better treatment sparked a war of words between the ruling and opposition camps of the state with the BJP wondering why the Dumka girl did not get the same facility.
A two-member NCW team visited the family members of the deceased in Dumka.
“We have sought a report from the DGP. We came here to take a first-hand report of the incident,” NCW member Shalini Singh told reporters.
A team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is also scheduled to visit Dumka on September 4, officials said.
Though the police had initially claimed that the deceased was an adult, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Dumka district later said that the class 12 student who died days after being set on fire was a minor.
The main accused, identified as Shahrukh, on August 23 allegedly poured petrol on the girl from outside the window of her room when she was sleeping and set her on fire. The teenager succumbed to her injuries on August 28. Shahrukh was arrested.
Leaders visited the deceased family
Leaders of the BJP and opposition BJP, and the Congress and the JMM, on behalf of the ruling coalition, also visited her family.
BJP leaders - Godda MP Nishikant Dubey, North-east Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari and former Delhi legislator Kapil Mishra - met the family members of the victim during the day and alleged that 'severe negligence' and 'appeasement politics of the ruling dispensation led to her death.
They raised questions about why she was not taken to Delhi by air ambulance like the acid attack victim and why no member of Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s family visited her family.
"The CM and others had time to enjoy picnic and party at dams and resorts. But not a member of the Soren family visited the victim," Dubey said.
Amid a political crisis triggered by an EC ruling on Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s continuance as an MLA, MLAs of the ruling coalition spent a few hours at Latratu in Khunti district, some 40 kilometres from Ranchi.
Dubey said JMM supremo Shibu Soren and his sons Hemant Soren and Basant Soren all have represented the Dumka assembly constituency.
Claiming that it was a case of ‘love jehad’, he said that Rs 28 lakh collected through crowd-funding has been handed over to the victim's family.
Congress MP Geeta Kora and JMM legislator Lobin Hembrom also visited the family.
Kora demanded the death penalty for the culprit to check the recurrence of such a crime.
The BJP-JMM feud
The BJP leader asserted that it was not a Hindu/Muslim issue, but an attempt by fundamental forces to divide the country on religious lines.
He claimed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had recently sought a report from Jharkhand Chief Secretary and DGP about the changing demography in the state during the last 10 years.
Reacting to the allegations, JMM general secretary and spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya accused the BJP of politicising the incident and claimed that the saffron party is all out to disturb the social fabric.
Bhattacharya claimed that a similar incident had occurred during the chief ministership of BJP’s Raghubar Das but the JMM did not cite any other angle as a criminal is a criminal.
On charges that the Dumka girl was not taken to Delhi, he said that the medical board did not permit that for her.
The acid attack victim was taken to AIIMS in New Delhi on Wednesday after getting the go-ahead from the medical board, Bhattacharya said and claimed that the BJP was resorting to “blatant lies”.
(With PTI Inputs)