Gangtok, 13 Nov:
A 19-year-old girl was raped and murdered in East Sikkim on 08 Nov. She had left her house at around 3 PM for a nearby forest to collect firewood and did not return. Later, her father found her in the jungle lying unconscious and took her to a PHC where she was declared brought dead.
Post mortem reports showed that she was sexually assaulted, strangulated and had a head injury. Police have registered the case under sections376/302/201 of the Indian Penal Code.
Since the crime was reported, social media has been up in arms demanding justice for the victim and today the student fraternity held a protest rally in the capital. The rally began from MG Marg and ended in front of the DC Office in Sichey.
Speaking to media, students of different colleges condemned the incident and demanded that the police administration act fast to apprehend the culprit. They also signed a memorandum to be submitted to the State Home Minister, District Collector and Superintendent of Police, East District.
One student said, the post mortem was conducted on Friday [08 Nov] and the report was released on Monday [11 Nov]. This, they alleged, showed the lackadaisical attitude with which the case was being pursued.
It may be mentioned that Saturday and Sunday are government holidays.
The memorandum demands that the Police Department take the case seriously and apply all resources available to investigate and apprehend the culprit. They have given a week’s time to the administration to solve the case failing which they have threatened to launch a strong movement.
“We can’t and will never compromise with our future in this context. The case must be investigated at the earliest and the culprit should be asserted sooner. Till then we shall keep our eye on this process with utmost belief and come up with constant follow up,” the memorandum states.
On the other hand, the police have assured that investigation is being carried out diligently.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Ministers, Arun Upreti, Bhim Hang Subba, Sanjeet Kharel and Political Secretary to CM, Jacob Khaling visited the victim’s family and assured that the culpri twill be apprehended and punished as per the law.
BJP Sikkim has criticized the slow pace at which the investigation has been progressing given that five days have passed since the incident.
The party has demanded that the investigating agencies rise above tokenism and take up the case with the seriousness it deserves.
If the officials investigating the case are incompetent then the state government should replace them with a more senior investigating team, according to BJP Sikkim.
The party has further said that crimes against women has been increasing and the society as a whole should come together to address this issue.
Reporting on the crime on social media has been drawing much flak after details of the victim including photos were shared by social media “news” pages, which is a punishable crime under the law.
The East District Superintendent of Police had to issue directions to the media and individuals not to upload the photo, name and other details of the victim.