This Article is From May 04, 2015

Punjab Teen Molestation Case: Family Cremates Body As Chief Minister Steps In

The injured mother of the teenage girl who died after she was thrown off a bus in Punjab's Moga. (Press Trust of India)

Moga, Punjab:

A day before Moga shuts down in protest against the death of a teenager, who was molested and shoved off a running bus, the government worked out a compromise with the girl's family under the eyes of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Badal's son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's family has stakes in Orbit Aviation, which owns the bus.

The family accepted Rs 30 lakh in compensation - the cash was handed over on the spot -- and a government job for the girl's father, who works as a Class 4 employee at a private firm. The girl's body was cremated in the evening.

Mr Badal had gone to Moga to personally monitor the compromise, sources said. Later, he met the family and assured them that justice will be done in the case.

The compromise left in the lurch the Congress-led opposition, which had planned a strike on Monday. The girl's immediate family will not be joining the protests. In a U-turn after his meeting with the officials, the girl's father, who had accused the police of putting pressure on them, also said "no one had threatened" him.

In a statement, the furious Congress called it "blood money", which will "further promote crime". Aam Aadmi Party Parliamentarian Bhagwant Mann said the family had been "pressured for compromise".

The Badals, he said, should have paid the money "from their own pocket," instead of using the state exchequer.

For four days since she died, the girl's body has been at the centre of the protests in Moga. The tragedy came as a shot in the arm for the opposition, given Mr Badal's connection with Orbit Aviation.

The opposition had been demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister and his daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal- who is a minister at the Centre -- and a judicial inquiry into the case.