MADHUPUR (KALAHANDI): Eerie silence gripped Madhupur village in Lanjigarh block under Narla police limits of Kalahandi district as villagers received the body of 15-year-old Tapaswini Rana on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the villagers accompanied her father Jagannath to the village cremation ground where the last rites were performed in the presence of police and Magistrate.
While Jagannath demanded capital punishment for the accused, villagers hinted at outraging of Tapaswini’s modesty leading to the barbaric act.
The district administration, on the other hand, decided to extend a helping hand to the victim’s family.
Tapaswini, a Class X student, had suffered 95 per cent burn injuries after the two main accused – Bulu Das and Shyama Sahu – poured kerosene and set her ablaze when she protested their lewd gesture and obscene comments on January 11. She was shifted from VIMSAR, Burla to Ispat General Hospital (IGH), Rourkela on January 13 where she died five days later in the early hours of Tuesday.
While the villagers were shocked to talk about the incident, there were hints of possible attempt to outrage the modesty of the brave girl, which resulted in the accused setting her on fire to wipe out any evidence. Villagers, refusing to be identified, said mere passing of obscene comments and scolding the accused by the girl’s parents can never trigger such a barbaric act. The Crime Branch (CB) should look beyond the incident, they observed.
A team of the CB, led by its SP Rashbihari Panigrahi, reached Madhupur and questioned the grandparents and parents about the incident. It is learnt that the CB is looking at the involvement of more persons in the crime even though prime accused Sahu and Das and their parents have been arrested. The prime accused have also been brought on remand and they are being interrogated.
The district administration, that had received flak for mishandling Dana Majhi incident, seemed compassionate this time as it handed over `15,000 to Tapaswini’s family in addition to `8,500 paid to them earlier.
Collector D Brundha has also assured that the family will be included in Government Welfare Schemes and all possible help will be extended to them.
Source: – newindianexpress