PATNA: An Opposition MLA in Bihar on Tuesday made teenage girl students of a residential school for Scheduled Caste communities cringe as a result of his probing questions about the alleged gang-rape and murder of one of their schoolmates.
Most girl students at Ambedkar Government Girls High School at Dighi Mazirabad in Vaishali district were lost for words to answer questions asked by Lallan Paswan, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) legislator from Chenari. The girls, already shocked after the mysterious death of a class X student on the residential school premises three days ago, were visibly upset by the way Paswan, himself from an SC community, worded his questions and persisted to elicit their answers.
“Which part of her (dead girl) body was full of blood? Was it the lower half of the body?” asked Paswan to about three dozen girls, aged between 10 and 15, during his visit to the school. When one girl answered “yes,” he said: “This means she was gang-raped before being murdered. Why are you afraid of speaking up the truth? If criminals enter the hostel and into your room and this happens to you, what will you do if you do not speak now?”
Paswan then went on to ask several other questions to the girls regarding the death of Dika Kumari, whose body was found lying in a pool of blood close to a drain near the main gate of the school-cum-hostel campus on Sunday. Local residents staged violent demonstrations outside the school on Monday demanding suspension of senior officials of the district welfare department.
Although it was alleged that Kumari was gang-raped before being killed, Vaishali SP Rakesh Kumar said on Tuesday, citing the report of a post-mortem conducted by a panel of four doctors, that she was not raped and the cause of her death would be known after examination of the viscera.
Even while the MLA’s controversial role as an investigator and his insensitivity in speaking to young girls were widely criticised, he boasted of his ability to detect criminals. “No criminal can stay unknown for long if I am allowed to interrogate. Even Osama bin Laden was found out and killed,” he said.
Sources said RLSP chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha berated Paswan for his action. Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav demanded Paswan’s arrest for “asking questions to girls that one cannot ask one’s daughters”.