Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today denied interfering in the probe into the gangrape of a 16-year-old girl, beyond merely responding to people's 'sentiments' by deputing a senior police official to visit West Bengal and providing financial assistance to the victim's family.
"It was not an interference whatsoever... We only articulated 'sentiments' of the people of Bihar by rushing in a senior police official to West Bengal with financial assistance for the victim's family and other help," he told reporters here.
He said that as soon as he came to know about the gangrape and death of the girl from Bihar, he deputed Inspector General of Police, Special Branch, G S Gangwar to visit Kolkata and sent Rs one lakh assistance from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
Regretting the West Bengal urban development minister Firhad Hakim's charge of interference by the Bihar government in law and order in the state, the chief minister said that his government's approach had not been seen in correct perspective.
Defending the state government's move to extend help to the victim's family, he said that the government only acted upon the sentiments of the people and added that it was not for the first time that the state government had done so. "We had also extended financial help for treatment of a gangrape victim in Rajasthan even as the Assam government too had written a letter to us for justice to a victim of train robbery incident in Bihar last year," Kumar argued.
He said that the Bihar government had a policy to provide assistance to the migrant people from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and the same had been followed in the present case.
The West Bengal minister had reacted sharply to the Bihar government's rushing a police officer to Kolkata to find out the facts in the gangrape case and described it as interference in West Bengal's affairs by Kumar. "Such an interference in the law and order issue in another state is beyond the jurisdiction and against the federal structure of the country," he had said.