Hands over a cheque for Rs. 20 lakh, assures them of all help

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday visited the ancestral village of the Delhi gang-rape victim and handed over a cheque for Rs. 20 lakh to her parents.

Mr. Yadav announced that a primary health centre would be set up in the village. The district magistrate had earmarked land for it. However, there was no provision to name it after the girl.

The 23-year-old paramedical student was gang-raped in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16. She and her friend, who valiantly resisted the attempts of the culprits, were thrown out of the vehicle. They were admitted to the Safdarjung hospital. The girl was moved to a Singapore hospital on December 26, but died after a couple of days.

While expressing his condolence, Mr. Yadav said that though the government was making all efforts to extend help to the girl’s family nothing could compensate the loss they had suffered. “There has been no such case anywhere in the world. There is anger over it in the country and it is showing. We will take strict measures to prevent anything like this in the future.”

The girl’s father told The Hindu that while he was “satisfied” by the Chief Minister’s assurances, he expressed the hope that jobs would be given to the unemployed youths. “He has promised that our village will see development. I requested him to give jobs to our boys who are educated but unemployed. We are hopeful ... I would like to see a high school constructed here,” he said.

While referring to the measures adopted by the State to curb crimes against women, Mr. Yadav pointed out that the helpline number for women (1090) had received 1.5 lakh complaints so far. Swift action would be ensured. The State would recruit more women in the police force. The tiny village, located on the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border, underwent a facelift in connection with Mr. Yadav’s visit. A temporary helipad, a Swiss cottage and a 700-metre road were constructed and repair works taken up.

Atiq Khan reports from Lucknow:

Mr. Yadav described the gang rape as a “gruesome incident” and said the government favoured the strictest possible punishment to the accused. He said the police had to pull their socks up and prevent recurrence of such incidents.

BJP MLA stages dharna

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Phephana, Upendra Tiwari, staged a dharna after he was denied permission to meet the Chief Minister at the helipad. Talking to The Hindu over telephone from Ballia, Mr. Tiwari accused the local administration and the police of deliberately denying him access to Mr. Yadav. The dharna was called off after the girl’s father and brother met him, Mr. Tiwari said.

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