Moga (Punjab) (IANS): The 13-year-old girl who died after she was molested and pushed out of a bus owned by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s transport company was cremated on Sunday evening at her native village in Punjab. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who met the girl’s family on Sunday evening, said the incident was “very unfortunate”.
The cremation took place amid tight security by Punjab Police. The body was brought by her family from the Faridkot Medical College and Hospital where her post-mortem examination was conducted on Sunday evening.
Parkash Singh Badal met the victim’s family in Moga town on Sunday evening, four days after the girl died.
Badal said the incident was “very unfortunate” and directed the director general of police (DGP) to ensure proper security for women in public transport.
“I came here as the father of Arshdeep Kaur. As the chief minister of the state and a father figure, I am personally responsible for safeguarding the honour of every daughter of Punjab. Wherever someone tries to outrage the honour of Punjab’s daughter, he will be given exemplary punishment under the strictest provisions of the law,” Badal told the media after spending about 30 minutes with the victim’s family.
The father of the girl and some members of her family had earlier said they agreed to the post-mortem examination.
“I want to take my daughter back home and cremate her. Please let me go now,” the victim’s father told the media here.
Moga Deputy Commissioner Parminder Singh Gill also said the family had agreed to the post-mortem examination and cremation.
“The post mortem is important as it is a crucial piece of evidence related to the death of the victim,” he said.
Official sources said the government paid a compensation of Rs.24 lakh to the victim’s family and promised to provide a government job to her mother who was also pushed out of the bus and seriously injured.
Chaos prevailed at the Civil Hospital complex in Moga town on Sunday afternoon as the local authorities and police tried to get the consent of the family.
Heavy police deployment was made outside and inside the hospital complex as scores of people protested the authorities’ bid to pressurise the family to give its consent for a post-mortem examination followed by cremation.
Though the Dalit girl died on Wednesday evening, the family had refused to allow her autopsy and cremation till the owners of the Orbit Aviation transport company, implying Sukhbir Badal and others, were booked. The row continued for the past three days.
Protesters, including Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) activists, alleged that the authorities and police under pressure from the Badal family had coerced the victim’s father to give consent for the autopsy and cremation.
The victim, her mother and brother had boarded the bus at Moga town for Baghapurana town, which is 20 km away, on Wednesday evening.
The mother and daughter were soon targeted with indecent gestures and molestation by some goons on the bus. When the mother and daughter resisted, the molesters, including three bus staff, pushed them out of the speeding vehicle.
The girl died immediately while the mother was admitted to a hospital in a serious condition.
Following pressure from various quarters, police arrested four people, including three staff members of Orbit transport company. They were booked for murder, attempt to murder and molestation.
Buses of the Orbit transport company were taken off the roads in Punjab on Saturday following orders from Sukhbir Badal.