No medical negligence in girl’s death, says West Bengal govt.

Even as the West Bengal government broke its silence on the rape and death of a 16-year-old girl, Opposition parties said on Thursday they would continue their protests even if they were accused of playing politics over the dead. The intelligentsia, part of which backed Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, said her promises of a ‘change’ had been belied.

Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra said there was no medical negligence and the State government had co-operated with the victim's family.

But neither the victim’s distraught father nor the women’s rights group was willing to buy the statement.

Speaking to The Hindu, the father said hospital authorities did not pay heed to his request to shift his daughter to another hospital. However, Mr. Mitra’s remarks that he strongly deplored the tendency to indulge in politics over a dead body raised the hackles of the Opposition leaders, who cutting across party lines, said if protesting against such attacks was ‘politics’, they were proud to be associated with such politics.

“There will be atrocities on women and if by protesting against such atrocities we are dubbed as playing politics, we have little option to act otherwise,” said Biman Bose, chairman of the State Left Front Committee.

The father, however, vowed to continue his fight for ensuring justice to his daughter. He said that despite threats by the police to return to Bihar he would not do that.

During the day, the police appealed before a district court seeking to bring charges of murder against the two accused who were arrested after the victim was admitted to hospital with severe burn injuries.

Nitish announces compensation

Meanwhile, in Patna, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced an ex-gratia assistance of Rs. 1 lakh for the victim’s family, which hails from Samastipur district.