Battling for her life for eight days, the 16-year-old girl, who set herself afire after she was gang-raped twice, succumbed to her wounds in hospital here on Tuesday. Her father demanded that the guilty be punished.
The teenager, who was violated twice at Madhyamgram in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal in October, was admitted to the R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital on December 23 with severe burns. Her family alleged that friends of the accused threatened her to withdraw her complaint.
The parents also accused the government hospital of failure to give her proper treatment. “She was left unattended most of the time. Even as she fought for her life, no one from the government bothered to visit her,” said the father, a taxi-driver.
A few days ago, the parents lodged a complaint against the hospital with a local police outpost.
Though seven persons have been arrested in connection with the rape, the family fled Madhyamgram after threats and harassment for filing the complaint, taking refuge at Dum Dum in the city.
The incident sparked strong criticism from civil rights groups. West Bengal Commission for Women Chairman Sunanda Mukherjee said: “She could have been saved had proper steps been taken in time.” She questioned the role of the Child Welfare Committee of North 24 Parganas and the hospital.
CPI(M) leader Shyamal Chakraborty asked: “Why wasn’t any action taken against those who have been constantly harassing her?” He alleged that crimes against women were increasing in the State, and the government was not taking any action.