Diamond Harbour: A 15-year-old girl whose disappearance was assumed to be a kidnapping and led to a bitter political battle in West Bengal, told a court today that she ran away from home and did not want to return to her parents.
In a statement before the chief judicial magistrate in Diamond Harbour town near Kolkata, the girl said her parents used to beat her up and that's why she ran away. She has been sent to a government-run shelter for now.
The parents of the girl, who stay at south Bengal's Magrahat, had claimed that she had been abducted by the members of a minority community with links to the ruling Trinamool Congress. They had also alleged that she had been kidnapped twice in three months.
The girl dramatically surfaced on Monday afternoon at a police station.
"So the 'kidnapped girl' case in Mograhat turned out to be a #TwitterHoax," tweeted Trinamool parliamentarian Derek O Brien.
The party had been attacked by the Left, which said no arrests had been made more than 80 days since the girl went missing.
The BJP, which had been protesting outside a police station near the girl's home, claimed the government's go-slow was related to the alleged involvement of the minorities.
"The government and the police did nothing for 80 days, it is only after we came out on the road that the cops took action," said state BJP chief Rahul Sinha, questioning whether the girl had returned on her own.
At a massive rally in Kolkata today, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took swipes at the BJP, saying the party smacks of communalism and that the Trinamool will "never bow down to the BJP."
The kidnapping fuelled an intense political blame-game, especially ahead of the assembly polls next year. In the last election, the Trinamool had captured a significant chunk of the 27 percent minority votes in the state.