Brajagopal Goyala, the son of a local panchayat member of the Trinamool Congress, was charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on Sunday, 10 April, for allegedly gang-raping a minor girl at a birthday party in West Bengal's Hanskhali village. The girl later died.
The bereaved parents of the 14-year-old had filed a complaint on 9 April, four days after the purported incident occurred.
Reacting to the incident on Monday, WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declared that the child commission would probe the matter. The accused is the son of Samar Goyala, who holds a TMC membership.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state has called for a 12-hour bandh as a form of protest on Tuesday. The bandh is supposed to begin at 6 am.
What the Complaint Says
As per the complaint lodged by her parents, the minor went to Goyala's house for a birthday party, returned home unwell, and died soon after that.
"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, and before we could take her to hospital, she died."The complaint
"From the sequence of events and after talking to the people present at the party, we are sure she was gang-raped by the accused and his friends," the victim's mother informed PTI reporters.
The family also alleged that the minor's body was forcibly taken for cremation even before the death certificate could be issued.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) asking for a CBI inquiry was also registered in the Calcutta High Court by advocate Anindya Sundar Das.
What the CM Said
CM Mamata Banerjee took note of the atrocity and the BJP's protest on Monday, and said,
"How many CBI probes have been done in Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, Assam, and Bihar over murders of people? How many leaders were arrested? No matter how many conspiracies you do by using CBI, ED, don't think us weak."
Stressing that there was no way one could conclude what happened to her yet, she added, "How do you know if she was raped or was pregnant or had a love affair or was sick? Even family knew it was a love affair."
In an attack directed at the BJP, she further said, "If a couple is in a relationship, how can I stop them? This is not UP that I can do that in name of Love Jihad."
TMC leader and the West Bengal's Minister of Women and Child Development, Sashi Panja, stressed that the government would not take this matter lightly, and said that there shouldn't be politics over the matter.
"There should not be any politics over the incident. Police will do everything possible to investigate and take further action," she stated.
How the BJP Reacted
Slamming the law and order situation in the state, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari said that Rule 355 should be imposed. He met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over the matter and sought a probe.
The governor indicated that the chief secretary had been directed to submit an urgent response on the crime, as well as the "atrocities on Ram Bhakats on Ram Navami."
"CS be called upon to render his report on both counts earliest, by 13 April," Dhankhar said in a statement.
As per news agency ANI, Adhikari will meet the family of the deceased on Tuesday.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)