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Role of Kolkata police questionable in gang rape case: NCW

Kolkata, Jan.1 (ANI): National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma on Wednesday expressed doubts over the role of Kolkata Police in the gang rape case and said had the police been alert, they could have prevented the second gang rape of the victim.

“The girl was gang raped once before going to the police station, and while returning, she was gang raped again. I don’t think the role of police is right in this case. If the police had been alert, then they could have prevented her from getting raped again,” said Sharma.

“The chief minister should take up this case very seriously. Meanwhile, the NCW has taken up the case, and today I am going to write a letter to the CM to answer us in a week why such crimes are happening against women, and what action has been taken in these cases,” she said.

Sharma also said the victim was traumatized, and had she been given proper guidance and medical treatment, she wouldn’t have committed suicide.

“We are thinking of sending a committee there to analyze the situation,” she added.

Earlier today, Left Front leaders and supporters clashed with Kolkata Police, after the latter refused to hand over the body of a 16-year-old rape victim to her father for cremation.

Communist Party (Marxist) leader Mohammad Salim was leading a protest march through the city. The gang raped victim’s body was being taken to the centre of the Indian Trade Unions office. The victim’s family is demanding justice.

The girl, who was allegedly gang-raped two months ago, died in hospital on Tuesday, more than a week after she set herself on fire.

Her father, a taxi driver, is reportedly a member of the Communist Party-Marxist trade union, which wanted the teen’s body to be kept in a mortuary overnight and then taken for cremation in a protest procession today.

There have been protests since yesterday over the girl’s death.

But the girl’s family alleges that when they were taking her body from their home to the mortuary on Tuesday, police intercepted the hearse and forced it to drive to the cremation ground.

They alleged that the policemen tried to cremate the body, but could not do so, as they did not have the death certificate.

At their home, the family alleged, some policemen and local goons attempted to force the father to hand over the death certificate, but he did not.

They said the body was brought back by cops to the girl’s home nearly five hours later, at about 2.30 a.m.

At 6 a.m. this morning, the father of the girl left with the hearse for the crematorium. The police have accompanied him.

Last rites are yet to be performed as the father is reportedly adamant that he will decide when to cremate his daughter, not the police.

The distraught parents have demanded the death sentence for the rapists and for those who tormented her so much that she set herself ablaze.

“I will fight the case. I will not let them go. I will not take my last breath till they are hanged. That’s my promise,” the father said yesterday.

The girl, allegedly gang-raped twice in October by the same set of people, had set herself on fire on December 23, after being harassed by friends of the men arrested in the case.

The girl’s father had moved his family from Madhyamgram, about 40 km from Kolkata, to the airport area closer to the city, but the harassment and threats to withdraw charges continued. (ANI with inputs)