There cannot be Kanyashree without kanya’s (girl’s) life, said West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose after visiting the house of a murdered school-going girl in Siliguri’s Matigara area on Sunday.
The class 11 Nepali-medium student was kidnapped by the accused while returning home from school and taken to a dilapidated house, where he bludgeoned her to death with a stone after she resisted his attempt to sexually assault her. Her body was found on Monday evening and he was later arrested.
West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) officials also visited the girl’s house and said they will extend all help to ensure exemplary punishment for the guilty.
The governor, accompanied by Darjeeling’s BJP MP Raju Bista, visited the girl’s house in Tumbajote in Matigara area and expressed condolences to the bereaved family. Bose listened to their concerns and assured them of all help.
In a video, the girl’s mother was seen telling the governor that her daughter was wearing her school uniform but even that did not desist the accused from committing the crime.
“If strict action is not taken, such incidents may recur. My daughter’s soul will rest in peace only if exemplary punishment is awarded,” she said.
Addressing a press conference after his visit, the governor said, “We are deeply anguished by the ghastly tragedy which took away the young angel from us in a very cruel manner. This should not happen to any girl child in West Bengal or elsewhere.” “In my first address in the West Bengal Assembly on February 8, I had declared that our CM will take steps to protect women… I had boasted about achievements of Kanyashree programme but there cannot be
Kanyashree without kanya’s (girl’s) life. Unless society can protect the life of the girl child, what is the point in making tall claims?” he said.
Kanyashree is a flagship scheme of the Trinamool Congress government aimed at reducing school drop-out rates and early marriage among girls.
On his interaction with the girl’s mother, he said that she wanted that such an incident should not happen with any other girl in the country.
“She also told me that this place, maybe because of its proximity to the international borders, has become a den of crime and drug trafficking. What is required is action not alibi for inaction. There is no point in blaming each other. I am not here for blame-game. Let us not play politics with dead bodies or honour of girl child,” he said.
“We need to have a multi-pronged approach to ensure that such ghastly incidents do not take place. This kind of criminality in the border areas has to stop. Chicken’s Neck corridor is strategically important for us and we cannot allow criminality to increase here,” Bose added.
Meanwhile, WBCPCR chairperson Sudeshna Roy and advisor Ananya Chakraborti Chatterjee visited the girl’s house and met the bereaved family.
They said they were satisfied with the role of the police and detailing in the post-mortem report.
“We want exemplary punishment for the accused. We will seek registering of a case under POCSO Act against him,” Chakraborti Chatterjee said.
Roy said they will send a report to the state government. Protesting the murder incident, several political parties had called a 24-hour bandh in Darjeeling hills on Saturday, affecting normal life.
On Thursday, a 12-hour shutdown was called by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Siliguri, which also affected daily lives.