Patna: On Monday, November 23, Bihar witnessed protests from the state Assembly premises as well as the streets demanding justice for a 20-year-old girl, who died after being allegedly set ablaze for opposing an attempt to molest.
The Opposition Congress and Left parties MLAs staged protests inside the state Assembly premises demanding justice for the victim, who succumbed to her injuries last week after battling for life for two weeks. With placards in their hands, Congress MLAs protested minutes before the start of the five days' long winter session of the Bihar Assembly, which is also the first session of newly elected 243 members following the state Assembly polls which concluded on November 10.
The Congress's legislative leader in the Assembly, Ajeet Sharma, said that the NDA government tried to suppress the shocking case during the election campaign and even after her death, the government has failed to ensure justice for her and that their party will fight on behalf of her.
Another Congress MLA Shakeel Ahmad Khan said, “We will raise this issue in the Assembly as well and will protestl for justice to her and her family”
Newly elected 16 Left parties MLAs also joined in the protest demanding justice for the victim.
Meanwhile, outside the state Assembly, women activists belonging to over a dozen different women organisations including All India Democratic Women’s Association, All India Progressive Women’s Association, Bihar Mahila Samaj and civil society members took to the streets in Patna and gathered at the Kargil Chowk register their voice of protest.
The Communist Party of India observed a statewide protest day on November 23 against the gruesome killing. The CPI state secretary Ramnaresh Pandey said that party has taken out a protest march in all district headquarters demanding justice for her.
Earlier on November 15, soon after the victim's death at the government run PMCH in Patna, hundreds of students and civil society activists had staged a protest demanding arrest of the absconding accused. A candle-lit march was also taken out by the civil society members on the next day.
Also read: Bihar: 20-year-old Girl Dies After Being Set Ablaze for Opposing Molestation
According to police, after the victim’s death, who was from Rasulpur Habib village under Desri Police Station in Vaishali district, police have arrested one of the three absconding, accused Chandan Kumar, while the main accused Satish Rai has surrendered to the police under police pressure
However, one of the accused is still absconding.
Notably, the incident has come to light at a time when Nitish Kumar has been repeatedly speaking about how rule of law has been established in the state and claimed that he has empowered women.
According to Vaishali Police, the girl was set ablaze on October 30 at her village by a group of three youths – Satish Kumar Rai, Vijay Rai and Chandan Kumar, when she resisted their bid to molest her. All three, residents of the same village, have been named as accused in the case.
Police protection has been provided to the victim’s family in the village in view of security threat and tension. Additional police force has also been deployed in the village as accused are from dominant and powerful families.
A police official from the local police station said that negligence on the part of police has resulted in the accused not being arrested so far. “Entire police was busy in holding Bihar Assembly elections and the investigation of this serious case was neglected,” he said.