Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, the grieving father of the teenage Bengal girl - gang-raped twice and allegedly set ablaze - Saturday said the family would meet President Pranab Mukherjee Jan 7 amid mounting protests in the city.
"We are scheduled to meet the President Jan 7 and will place our demand for a CBI inquiry," said the father, a taxi driver hailing from Bihar's Samastipur district. "I want to request the CBI to carry out a thorough investigation ... so that I get mental peace. If there is no proper probe, we will again go to the President with our grievance."
Accusing the West Bengal administration of failing to conduct a proper probe, he questioned the absence of forensic investigation into the burning incident and expressed concerns over the family not being given security.
Hounded out of their rented room in Madhyamgram of North 24 Parganas district after the gang rape, the family had shifted to a small room close to the Kolkata airport, but had to leave that too after the 16-year-old student's death fearing for their security following threats from miscreants.
The family has now taken refuge at the state headquarters of the Centre of Trade Unions, the labour arm of the Communist Party of India-Marxist. "It has been so many days ... we do not have any kind of security. They (those who set her ablaze) were not quizzed ... no forensic tests were carried out ... that means they want the case to be closed."
Meanwhile, political parties and organisations continued to hit the streets demanding punishment of the culprits and denouncing the administrative and police "apathy" towards the girl's family. Singer-turned-dissident Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman, virtually in tears over the tragedy, cried shame and penned a song condemning the police and the administration and highlighting the girl's fate.
A seven-member delegation of the Bihar unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party Saturday called on the family and assured them legal and financial help.
The Democratic Youth Federation of India - youth wing of the CPI-M - staged demonstrations in north Kolkata's busy Shayambazar five-point crossing and Behala Chowrasta in the south expressing "shame" over the happenings.
The CPI-M students' arm, Students Federation of India, has called a students' strike Jan 6 across the state. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) filed a police complaint against police personnel who tried to coerce and threaten the victim's family to hand over the girl's death certificate so they could finish her last rites quietly. "We have lodged a complaint at the airport police station against police officers, who, instead of helping the family members of the victim, put pressure on them to hand over her death certificate," said AAP leader Mukul Kesri.
The party would file a complaint against the state-run R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital for alleged neglect in the treatment of the victim, admitted there with serious burn injuries Dec 23. She died Dec 31.
The AAP has also decided to take out a rally in the city Sunday against rising atrocities on women in the state. The girl was gang raped twice in October in Madhyamgram.
The police have slapped murder charges against two accused, now under custody, based on the girl's dying declaration that the duo set her ablaze.