Mi­nor rape vic­tim

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

Ayoung girl, who was gang raped twice in Oc­to­ber 2013 and set on fire two months later by her al­leged rapists on the out­skirts of Kolkata, was found to be only 12 years old, ac­cord­ing to her school record. News re­ports had ear­lier re­ported the vic­tim’s age to be 16. It also emerged that the girl was preg­nant when she suc­cumbed to her burn in­juries on De­cem­ber 31.

The girl’s grand­fa­ther used to be a tram driver in Kolkata and her fa­ther went to the city about 15 years ago in search of a liveli­hood. The child and her mother used to shut­tle be­tween the vil­lage and Kolkata till a few months ago. Af­ter the rape, the en­tire fam­ily lived in the vil­lage house till mid-Novem­ber. They re­turned to Kolkata think­ing the mat­ter had cooled down.

Sev­eral hun­dred ac­tivists protested in Kolkata and New Delhi, ac­cus­ing the West Ben­gal govern­ment and po­lice of fail­ing to act swiftly af­ter the girl lodged her ini­tial com­plaint. “We strongly be­lieve that if the govern­ment had acted against the crim­i­nals... the sub­se­quent hor­rific events would have been pre­vented and the young girl’s life could have been saved,” the All In­dia Demo­cratic Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion wrote in a let­ter to West Ben­gal Chief Min­is­ter, Mamta Ban­ner­jee.

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