WB: Minor dies after alleged gang-rape, TMC leader's son held
A minor girl in Hanskhali village of West Bengal's Nadia district died after allegedly being gang-raped at a birthday party, PTI reported on Monday. The victim's family claimed the prime accused is the son of a panchayat member from the ruling Trinamool Congress, the police said on Sunday. They said he has been arrested for investigation and will be presented in a Ranaghat court.
Victim had gone to attend birthday party at accused's house
The parents of the minor girl, a Class-9 student, had filed a complaint against the accused at Hanskhali police station on Saturday, four days after the alleged gang rape. They alleged in the complaint that their child had gone to the main accused's house to attend his birthday celebration, but she returned home in a critical condition and died soon after.
What does the victim's mother say?
"Our daughter was bleeding profusely and had severe abdominal pain after she came back from the party at the residence of the local TMC leader's son," the girl's mother was quoted as saying by PTI. "And before we could take her to hospital, she died," she said, adding that the family was sure that she was gang-raped by the accused and his friends.
Accused booked under POCSO Act
The main accused in the case—identified as Brajagopal Gayali—was arrested on Sunday night. Officials said he was charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and booked for rape, murder, and evidence suppression, too. Moreover, two PILs seeking judicial intervention in the matter were also filed in the Calcutta High Court. The matter is expected to be taken up on Tuesday.
Body of the girl cremated forcibly, alleges family
Meanwhile, the girl's mother further claimed that the minor's body was forcibly taken away for cremation by a group of people even before her death certificate was obtained. Her family also claimed the same group—after the alleged gang rape—had earlier warned them not to send their daughter to any government or private hospital, but to instead have her treated by a local "quack."
Love angle also emerging in the case?
According to reports, the minor girl was "the love interest" of the main accused, who is the son of a local Trinamool Congress panchayat leader Samarendra Gayali. This is apparently the reason she had been invited to Brajagopal's birthday celebration at his house last Monday. According to the victim's family, they were initially informed that the girl had "fallen ill" at the party.
BJP plans protest, TMC assures justice
Speaking about the incident, senior TMC leader Sashi Panja, West Bengal's Minister of Women and Child Development, said the ruling party has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse against women and children. She stated the police will do everything they can to investigate the incident and take appropriate action. Meanwhile, WB's Opposition BJP organized a 12-hour protest bandh in the Hanskhali PS area on Monday.
Similar incident happened in UP in 2020
The alleged Hanskhali gang-rape case is reminiscent of a similar incident that happened in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras in 2020—when a young Dalit girl died after being gang-raped. Her family had also alleged the victim was forcibly cremated by the police, while family members were barred from attending. Protests were staged nationwide in response to the incident, with Dalit and political organizations leading the way.Share this timeline