Call for CBI probe: In Kaliaganj, victim family refuses to conduct last rites until it gets justice
Close to a dozen villagers sitting under a mango tree are guarding the parcel of land where the body of a 17-year-old girl, who was found dead on the banks of a pond in Uttar Dinajpur district’s Kaliaganj area on April 21, lies buried.
The place wears a deserted look with a sense of tension palpable in the air. The victim’s house is about 20km from the Kaliaganj police station that was set on fire by protesters on Tuesday soon after it was claimed that preliminary post-mortem report did not suggest rape and that the victim’s body had no external injuries.
Several policemen were even attacked and chased by an irate mob, it was alleged.
“The death occurred due to ingestion of some poisonous substance. But the nature of poison will be established once forensic report of samples is received,” reads the preliminary post-mortem report, a copy of which is with The Indian Express.
“We will not conduct her last rites till justice is done,” said one of the victim’s family members requesting anonymity. According to locals, the family only noticed on the evening of April 20 that the girl was missing for hours. The victim’s paternal uncle said, “We all thought that she was at some house nearby. No one was really worried till a local TMC leader asked a resident to the call girl’s father. We went to his place where Anisur Haque, father of accused (since arrested) Javed Akhtar, was already there. We started searching for her only when we were asked about her whereabouts.”
A teenaged girl, who is related to the victim, said they both took bath at the pond the same day she went missing. “Also, she cleaned a lehenga and told me that she would wear it on an upcoming wedding in her family. But she was found dead the next morning. I still cannot believe that she is no more. Not even for once did I see her with any boy,” the girl added.
The accused, Javed, had also gone missing and was traced only after the girl’s body was recovered, it is learnt.
Javed’s family lives in a rented accommodation made of aluminum not far from the victim’s house. Javed works as a labourer in Gurugram and had recently come home. His house was found locked when The Indian Express visited the village.
When the family and villagers failed to trace the girl, they decided to file a missing police complaint the next day. But it was around 7am on April 21 when some local boys who went to attend nature’s call near the pond found the victim’s body.
“We were in shock and disbelief after we found the girl dead. No senior police official visited the area till we held a protest. How inhumane were the policemen to have dragged the body on the road?” questioned another relative of the victim.The girl is survived by her parents and younger brother who is disabled. Her father works as a labourer in farms. She was sent to school despite the family’s limited resources.
“She had appeared for class XII examination this year and was waiting for the result. Her father was ready to send her to college for higher studies. They were not even pressurising her for marriage. We want CBI probe into the case. Her body was buried so that it can be exhumed for second post-mortem, if required. We will fight for justice till the end,” said a relative of the family.
“Javed’s family members are engaged in labour work. They are not permanent residents of this area. My niece has been killed. Why would she consume poison? The police claimed they found a bottle near the body at the purported scene of crime. It was a plan to make it look like she committed suicide,” said another member of the victim’s family.
The girl’s family and villagers demanded CBI probe into the incident, raising fingers at the TMC regional president and the husband of a local gram panchayat member as Javed’s father was first seen at his house.
The TMC leader said, “Both of them had gone missing. The father of the accused was the first to come to my house. He told me that he found his son speaking to the girl and then broke his mobile phone in anger. Later, he left my house. I then called the girl’s family to check with them. They said that the girl wasn’t traceable. Soon we informed the local police about it and it was decided that if they don’t return, a missing complaint will be filed. After the girl was found dead, the police traced the youth and his father and arrested them,” he said.