The Jharkhand government on Monday handed over a compensation of Rs 9 lakh to the next of kin of a teenager who was set on fire by a man in Jharkhand’s Dumka district recently, an official said.
The 17-year-old Class 12 student succumbed to burn injuries at a government hospital on Sunday. The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday sought an action taken report from the police within seven days.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren directed the Dumka district administration to extend an immediate relief of Rs 10 lakh to the bereaved family. Dumka deputy commissioner (DC) Ravi Shankar Shukla told PTI, “On the direction of the CM, the relief money has been provided to the family of the deceased. The family was given a cheque of Rs 9 lakh on Monday.”
An amount of Rs 1 lakh had already been provided to the family when the woman was being shifted from Dumka to Rajendra Institute of Medical Science, he added.
Call for probe
Governor Ramesh Bais announced an immediate grant of Rs 2 lakh to the family of the victim from his discretionary grant, an official release said. Bais also directed the DGP to probe the role of the local police in the incident and said the trial of the accused should be held in a fast track court, the release said.
Soren said the case will be taken up by a fast-track court for speedy disposal.
The Director General of Police has been directed to submit an early report on the progress of the investigation, which should be conducted by an ADG rank officer, the CM said in a Twitter post.
The NCW on Monday said it has written to the Jharkhand Police chief, calling for a fair investigation into the death of a woman who was set ablaze by a man for not reciprocating his overtures. Another person, who allegedly had supplied petrol to the main accused, has also been arrested, Dumka Superintendent of Police Amber Lakra told PTI.
The second accused has been identified as Chotu Khan alias Naeem, he said.
Speaking to media persons at the state secretariat, Soren termed the Dumka incident as heart-wrenching. “Our efforts will be to ensure stringent punishment for the culprit at the earliest. The provision of punishment for such cases should be made stricter,” he added.
Congress legislator and Health minister Banna Gupta said, “It is a very sensitive issue. There should not be politics over this. Speedy trial of the case will be ensured.”
War of words
The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) accused BJP leaders of trying to do “communal politics” over the incident and said the state government also wants stringent punishment for the culprit.
JMM spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said: “The Dumka incident is condemnable. The BJP should refrain from doing communal politics over it. The government also wants the trial of the accused in a fast track court.”
Saffron party leaders, including former Jharkhand chief ministers Raghubar Das and Babulal Marandi, demanded that the accused be tried in a fast track court and a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a job be extended to the next of kin of the woman.”
The incident happened in Dumka town on August 23 when the accused, identified as Shahrukh, allegedly poured petrol on the woman from outside the window of her room when she was sleeping and set her on fire, the police said.
The deceased had been first admitted to Phulo Jhano Medical College and Hospital in Dumka in critical condition with 90 per cent burns and later referred to RIMS . The accused in the case has already been arrested.
The woman’s body was cremated amid tight security in Dumka on the banks of the Mayurakshi river on Monday, police said. Dumka deputy commissioner, superintendent of police Ambar Lakra and BJP Dumka MP Sunil Soren were present at the funeral.
Sangh group protest
In protest against the incident, Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal had given a call for a bandh in Dumka on Monday. All shops, business establishments, schools, and colleges remained closed and the movement of long-distance buses was also affected.
Protests erupted against the incident with right-wing organisations staging demonstrations in Ranchi and Dumka.
In Ranchi, the activists gathered at Albert Ekka Chowk and raised slogans against the state government. The protestors were seen holding placards seeking justice for the woman.
Heavy security has been deployed at all prominent places of Dumka town to avoid any untoward incident. The administration had clamped prohibitory orders in Dumka subdivision on Sunday.