Hanskhali gangrape case: Trinamool leader arrested by CBI

The Trinamool leader's son was arrested earlier.

Trinamool Congress leader from Nadia’s Hanskhali – Samarendu Gaoli – was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday, in connection with the alleged rape of a minor who subsequently died. Samarendra Gaoli’s son has already been arrested by the police in the case.

The Trinamool leader is a gram panchayat member from Hanskhali. His son was arrested earlier for the alleged rape of a minor that led to her death on April 5. Samarendu was allegedly unavailable for questioning since the incident, but now the cops feel that his arrest may bring many information to the fore. He and his wife were both called for questioning by the CBI authorities. He was apparently in Nadia’s Bagula all this while. Samarendu and his son were both questioned together on Tuesday and then the former was arrested.

According to the FIR lodged by the girl’s father, the class IX student had gone to attend the birthday party of the Trinamool panchayat member Samarendu Gaoli’s son in Hanskhali’s Gajna on Monday, April 4. She returned home in the early hours of Tuesday, severely ill. Her family took her to a local quack but she died soon after. The girl was cremated hastily on the same day at a local crematorium, allegedly under pressure from the Gaoli family. It is also alleged that the boy had threatened the girl’s family about taking her to a government hospital or reporting the matter to police. However, the family reported the matter to police with the help of the Nadia district Childline.

There are conflicting reports on whether the girl was at the party alone or accompanied by others. There are allegations that the girl was dropped home by a woman and unidentified men.

An FIR has been registered for rape of a minor, murder and destruction of evidence and provisions of the POCSO Act. An accused has been detained. Police has said that all angles are being probed, including why there was a four-day delay in lodging the FIR.

A controversy erupted as a few days back, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked “where the evidence will come from if the body has been cremated”. She also said that Trinamool Congress should not be “dragged in” for everything. “Everyone is Trinamool Congress in Bengal. And the person has been arrested and for that the political colour has not been checked,” she said.

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