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WB girl's death: Autopsy lists poisoning as cause; BJP team meets Shah

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: July 21, 2020 00:05 IST
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The death of a teenage girl that triggered violence in parts of north Bengal was caused by poisoning, and there were no signs of sexual or physical assault, police said on Monday, quoting her postmortem report.

 

IMAGE: BJP Mohila Morcha president Agnimitra Paul, centre, stages a protest against alleged rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl at Chopra in North Dinajpur district of West Bengal, in Kolkata, on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo

The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, termed the autopsy report of the 17-year-old girl, who was the sister of a BJP activist, a 'cover-up' and reiterated its demand for an impartial probe into the incident.

The ruling Trinamool Congress accused the BJP of trying to 'make an issue out of a non-issue'.

A delegation of the BJP Bengal leadership, which included Union Minister Debasree Chaudhuri, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi and apprised him about the situation.

"We met Amit Shah Ji and briefed him about the situation in Chopra," Chaudhuri told PTI from New Delhi.

The BJP Mahila Morcha organised a protest rally in Kolkata during the day over the death of the teenage girl on Sunday, but it was stopped by the police at the outset.

'No signs of external injury seen. Effects of poison. However, final opinion reserved pending till receipt of chemical examiners report,' the postmortem report said.

It also said there were neither injury marks anywhere on the body nor signs of sexual or physical assault. The videography of the post-mortem was done, police said.

Alleging rape and murder of the girl, a mob had gone on a rampage in North Dinajpur district on Sunday, setting fire to several police vehicles and government buses on the National Highway 31 in the Chopra area near Siliguri.

The girl, who had gone out of her house at Sonapur village on Sunday morning to relieve herself, was found dead a few hours later.

The villagers alleged that she was raped before being murdered.

Meanwhile, the dead body of a youth was found in a pond in the same Chopra area Monday morning. The police are investigating whether the two deaths are linked in any way.

Police also said they have so far arrested 16 people for their alleged involvement in the Sunday violence.

The incident has caused the latest face-off between the TMC and the BJP, with the saffron party alleging that the girl was murdered as she was the sister of a BJP activist.

BJP state vice president Raju Banerjee said, "Goons of TMC murdered the girl as she is the sister of a BJP activist. The police are trying to pass off the rape and murder as a suicide."

He also said a BJP delegation reached Chopra this morning, but it was denied permission to take out a rally with the body of the girl in the area.

BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha termed the autopsy report a 'cover-up' exercise to 'protect' the culprits.

The TMC termed the allegations baseless.

Senior TMC leader and minister Goutam Deb said, "The BJP is trying to fish in the troubled waters and is attempting to make an issue out of a non-issue."

"An incident has happened; the police are investigating the case. But, the BJP doesn't have the patience to wait for its conclusion. The BJP is disturbing the peace of the area," Deb said.

Members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Left-backed Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) also protested in Jalpaiguri district's Dhupguri area over the incident, leading to tensions.

The area remained tense for the second consecutive day Monday, even as a massive police contingent has been deployed to maintain peace.

The BJP Mahila Morcha rally led by its state unit president Agnimitra Paul, which was to be held from Gariahat to Deshapriya Park in south Kolkata, was stopped by police at the outset.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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