The Madhya Pradesh government, on Friday, constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the suspicious death of a survivor of sexual exploitation residing in a shelter home in Bhopal.
The family members of the girl alleged that the cremation was conducted in a hasty manner despite their opposition.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan conducted a high level meeting at his residence on Friday and directed the constitution of the SIT. The CM also directed strict action against those found guilty. During the meeting, Chouhan said, “We could not save our daughter from Bhopal. This is not a normal incident. It is very unfortunate. Action will be taken against the guilty.”
Meanwhile, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi likened the incident to the infamous Hathras case. “How many times will Hathras-like inhumanity be repeated? The BJP government is not only failing in women’s safety but is also unable to behave humanly with survivors and their families,” Gandhi tweeted.
Former MP chief minister Kamal Nath also attacked the BJP government in the state over the issue. In a tweet, he dubbed the incident condemnable and shameful. “Girls are not safe anywhere under the Shivraj government. Innocent survivors of a sexual exploitation case are not safe even in a shelter home in the state capital. The body of the girl was not allowed to be taken home. She was treated like a criminal,” he said.
He added that the family was unable to hold a proper traditional funeral for the deceased. “What kind of cruel system is this? Where are those responsible? How much more will be the state shamed? CBI probe should be conducted in the case. Other girls (survivors of the case residing in shelter homes) should be provided protection, given proper medical treatment and strict action should be taken against the guilty,” Nath tweeted.
The girl, one of the five survivors of the much publicised case involving Pyare Miyan, a media house owner accused of running a sex racket and raping minors, had reportedly consumed an overdose of sleeping pills on Monday in the shelter home in Bhopal where they were put up since July this year. She succumbed on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, following allegations of foul play levelled by her family, Bhopal district collector Avinash Lavania instituted a judicial probe.
The case, however, took a controversial turn on Thursday as the family of the girl again alleged that the body of the girl was directly taken to the crematorium from Hamidia Hospital (where she died) despite opposition from the family. The family members were escorted to the crematorium by the police and the cremation was conducted with undue haste, they alleged. Senior police officials, however, said that cremation was done after due consent from the family.
Meanwhile, two other survivors had complained of ill health on Thursday and taken to hospital where they were given primary care before being discharged, sources said. On Friday, another of the survivors, who is said to be an asthma patient, was admitted to hospital after complaining of breathlessness, sources added.