Kaliaganj: Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were clamped in parts of Kaliaganj in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district on Sunday following clashes between police and locals over the death of a 17-year-old girl, an official said.
The prohibitory orders were imposed hours before the visit of representatives of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights led by its chairperson Priyank Kanoongo to the deceased’s family.
“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed for a fortnight from today as a precautionary measure, though the duration is subject to review. As per the law, we will not allow a congregation of four or more people. Action will be taken against violators,” the official said.
Kanoongo, however, was allowed to visit the girl’s family along with three other representatives of the NCPCR. He was accompanied by police.
The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights alleged that Kanoongo and his team have visited the area in a bid to “politicise the matter” and that they were violating the CPCR Act.
WBCPCR chairperson Ananya Chakraborty alleged that the NCPCR team’s visit was “absolutely not needed”.
“The NCPCR blatantly violated the CPCR Act and entered West Bengal illegally with the sole purpose of maligning the state. They took along with them a large contingent of journalists to the deceased’s house in complete violation of the prohibitory orders. This is shameful. They should have informed us about their visit and taken our feedback in the case,” Chakraborty told PTI.
The NCPCR team’s visit sparked a war of words between the BJP and the TMC.
“The state government has utterly failed in preventing atrocities against women and children. When people of Kaliaganj agitated against the brutal murder of the girl, the police beat them up and took the body in the most insensitive manner, hurting the sentiments of the people,” BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.
He alleged that rather than working together with the NCPCR, which has “every right to rush to the side of the distressed”, the WBCPCR, at the “behest of the TMC government”, was objecting to the visit of the central panel and also not coming by the side of the deceased’s family.
“We want justice for the bereaved family as well as all oppressed minors. In the present situation, that can be delivered only by the NCPCR. The state should not politicise the matter,” he said.
Trinamool Congress state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, on the other hand, alleged that the NCPCR chief visited the place for “political reasons”.
“The death of the young girl is tragic and police are investigating the incident. But before the probe is complete, the BJP is trying to fish in troubled waters by instigating violence. BJP leaders are visiting the area and provoking people by stoking rumours,” he said.
“This has forced the administration to clamp prohibitory orders in some areas. Where was the pressing need for the NCPCR chief to visit the area with a large contingent of journalists now? His visit is political,” Ghosh said.
Meanwhile, an eerie calm prevailed at Kaliaganj amid a heavy deployment of police forces in the area.
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Police have arrested six people in connection with their involvement in clashes with police and vandalism following the recovery of the minor’s body from a canal on Friday.
A case was filed under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act based on a complaint filed by the girl’s mother.
The preliminary post-mortem report revealed there was no injury to the body, Uttar Dinajpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Sana Akhtar claimed.
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