Bhubaneswar, Aug 9
The 14-year old girl from Kharinasi village in Mahakalpara in Kendrapara district, who succumbed to the 65% burn injuries she sustained after being set afire by two youths of the same village at the Capital Hospital here last night, was cremated at Swargadwara in Puri this morning.
Her body was whisked away to the pilgrim town amid tight security after post mortem early this morning. The cremation took place at about 8 am today.
The death of the girl sparked off vociferous protests in the capital with members of political parties and women’s organisations demonstrating in the hospital premises even after midnight. “The incident has proved that no woman is safe in Naveen Patnaik’s regime. He does not have the moral right to continue in office even for a minute after this,” said senior BJP leader Surama Padhi.
The demonstrators turned violent after news of the death of the girl spread. They threw stones and made an attempt to barge into Health minister Damodar Rout’s residence. Later, they also attempted to reach Naveen Nivas, the Chief Minister’s residence, but were stopped on the way by the police.
Commissionerate police had a tough time controlling the protests which spilled over to this morning. Protestors fought a pitched battle with the large contingent of police posted at the CM’s residence. A worried government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh, but that did not help assuage the rage of the protestors.
The girl was supposed to be shifted to the Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi late on Thursday evening following a sharp deterioration in her condition over the last 48 hours. But she had to be rushed to the Capital Hospital here, minutes before she was to board the flight to Delhi raising doubts that she may have died.
Two young men, Pradip Das and Ekadashi Das had set the 14-year-old girl on fire at Kharinashi village in Kendrapada district. Both are now in judicial custody.
Police said Pradip wanted to marry the elder sister of the victim. He was enraged when the family solemnised her marriage with someone else. Pradip, a resident of the same village as the girl, allegedly began threatening the family and also the in-laws of the elder sister. The two invited the victim to his house, dragged her in, and poured kerosene on her before setting her ablaze.
The teenager, a student of Class VII, was shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital on July 29 after her condition deteriorated. She had suffered about 65 percent burn injuries.
The death of the Kendrapara girl refreshed the memory of a Dalit girl from Pipli, who died in the SCB Medical College and Hospital after being in a state of coma for several months following her gang rape and strangulation.