Bengal gangrape victim dies after self-immolation bid

Written by: IANS
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West Bengal
Kolkata, Dec 31: A gangrape victim, who had set herself on fire, following taunts and threats by her attackers, died of her injuries on Tuesday in a city government hospital.

The girl, 16, was allegedly raped twice in October and was rushed to the state-run R.G. Kar Hospital after she set herself afire on Dec 23.

"Her condition was critical and today she succumbed to her injuries," an official of the hospital said.

Alleging apathy both by the hospital and the state government, the girl's father demanded death penalty for her attackers.

"The hospital did not take care of my daughter, and she was left unattended most of the time. No one from the government bothered to visit her or look into our plight," said the father who hails from Bihar.

"My daughter is dead but I will keep fighting till her attackers are hanged," said the man, a taxi driver.

Substantiating the man's claims, Communist Party of India-Marxist central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty said: "The girl did not die; she was killed by this government and the hospital. Why wasn't any action taken against those constantly harassing her?"

The family came to Bengal in search of livelihood and settled in Madhyamgram of North 24-Parganas district.

The hapless girl was subjected to the heinous crime a second time after she lodged a police complaint, alleging six people raped her.

While six persons have been arrested, the family had to flee Madhyamgram after the girl and the family were constantly threatened and harassed for lodging the police complaint.

Despite relocating to Dum Dum, the girl's ordeal continued. Unable to bear the regular taunts and humiliation, she set herself on fire.

State Women's Commission chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee expressed deep regret over her death.

"Her death is tragic, to say the least. It is the society which is to be blamed for her death," said Mukherjee.

Members of the civil society have expressed deep sorrow over the incident and derided the government apathy.


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