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West Bengal: Teenaged girl gangraped, murdered and set to fire, body recovered after partially eaten by animals, 3 arrested

In an incident similar to the Hyderabad gangrape and murder case, the charred body of a teenaged girl has been recovered in Kumarganj in South Dinajpur in West Bengal. It is alleged that the 17-year-old girl was brutally killed after being gangraped before her body was burnt. The body was found on Monday morning under a culvert between Safanagar and Ashokgram.

The charred body was discovered by residents of Safanagar area when stray dogs were fighting for the flesh of the body. The residents saw blood on the culvert, and after that saw the body under it. According to locals, dogs and jackals had already eaten parts of the body, which has caused huge outrage among people.

The victim is a resident of Gangarampur, around 8 km from where her body was found. On Sunday evening at around 4 PM she had left her house saying that she is going to a market to buy some clothes. But after that she went missing, and her body was found on Monday morning. The body had injury marks by a sharp weapon. The family members allege that the girl was raped before being killed and set to fire, although the rape has not been confirmed by police yet.

Brother of the victim, who identified the body, said that few hours after she left house, her phone was switched off. The family members searched for her during the night but could not find her. When next day they heard that a burnt body of a girl has been found, they rushed to the police morgue and identified her.

She had appeared for secondary examinations last year, and as she had failed in the exams, she was preparing for appearing in it again. She belongs to a very poor family where her parents and elder brother work as labours.

The culvert where her body was found is near the Bangladesh border, and its an isolated place away from residential areas. Near the body, a bag, one footwear and some other evidences have been found by police, but the mobile phone of the girl was missing.

Police have already started investigating the case, and have made three arrests so far. They have been identified as Mahboor Mian, Pankaj Burman and Gautam Burman. Mahboor Mian has been identified as the mastermind of the crime by local media. All of them live in the same area where the girl’s family live, but work outside West Bengal. The victim was known to one of them and she was last seen with him on a two-wheeler. On the basis of that, they were arrested. The three suspects have been sent to 10 days of police custody.

Police have not confirmed whether the girl was raped, saying it can be confirmed after the post-mortem report is available. but according to reports, preliminary investigations show that she was gang-raped after they took her to an isolated place. When she threatened to reveal the same to villagers, they decided to kill her. They tied her hands and attacked her with a sharp weapon. When she was still breathing even after that, they poured petrol on her body and set her on fire before fleeing from the spot. Several parts of the body, including neck and hands, have injury marks of a sharp weapon.

The family members of the girl are members of BJP. Local BJP MP Sukanta Majumber condemned the incident, and declared that a major agitation will be started if the culprits are not caught quickly. Kumarganj Trinamool Congress MLA Toraf Hossain termed the incident as unfortunate and demanded an impartial probe.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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