Chandigarh: As the Akali Dal-led Punjab government battles massive political protests over the death of a teen who was molested and then thrown off a moving bus in Moga district, a minister sought to play down the incident, calling her death as "God's will", while a party lawmaker called it an "accident".
The 14-year-old girl and her mother were abused and groped by a group of men, including the conductor, before being thrown from the bus on Wednesday. The girl died instantly. Her mother was seriously injured.
"No one can stand against God's will... Even cars and planes have accidents... we should leave all this to God," Punjab's Education Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra said at an event on Friday.
His party colleague and Moga MLA Joginder Pal Jain said, "You know a lot of accidents take place. Whatever the compensation... If it's settled out of court, is agreeable to both the parties."
The Akali government is facing intense political heat over the teen's death - the minor and her mother were attacked on a bus run by Orbit Aviation, a company owned by Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Deputy Chief Minister and son of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The family of the girl has refused to cremate her and her father has demanded a case against Sukhbir Singh Badal.
"I want justice... Is there nobody in the world who can lodge FIR against him (Sukhbir)?," the girl's father asked.
The family has also turned down the state government's offer of Rs. 20 lakh compensation and a job.
Opposition parties allege that it was because of the Badal connection that the police took 15 hours to arrest four men.