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Protests continue in Punjab over Dalit girl's death, molestation
Saturday May 2, 2015 6:33 PM, IANS

Chandigarh: The protests over the molestation and death of a teenaged Dalit girl continued on Saturday in Punjab's Moga town and other places, with the victim's family refusing her post-mortem until deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was booked in the case.

The girl was molested and pushed out of a speeding bus owned by Sukhbir Singh Badal and his family's company, resulting in her death on Wednesday evening.

While refusing the authorities plea to conduct a post-mortem and cremate her body, the victim's family is demanding that a case be registered against Badal and others who own the Orbit Aviation Company.

The family has also refused to accept a compensation of Rs. 20 lakh being offered by the Punjab government.

Aam Aadmi party activists, led by Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, on Saturday stopped a Mercedes-Benz bus belonging to Orbit company.

Protests continued in Moga, Baghapurana and other places with people demanding that the owners of the bus company, namely Sukhbir Singh Badal and his union minister wife Harsimrat Badal, be booked for the girl's death.

The incident took place on Wednesday evening near Moga town, 180 km from here.

The victim's mother, Shinder Kaur, was also pushed out of the moving bus. She is in a government hospital in Moga with serious injuries.

She said that they complained about the molestation to the bus driver but he mocked at them and speeded up the vehicle.

Shinder Kaur said no one helped them inside the bus and she and her daughter were pushed out of the moving bus by the molesters.

The family of three, including a 14-year-old boy, had boarded the bus in Moga for Baghapurana town, which is 20 km away, on Wednesday evening. But some people in the bus began making indecent gestures at the mother and daughter and later molested the girl.

Following the public outrage in Punjab after the girl's death, the police arrested four people, including three staff members of the Orbit bus. They were booked for murder, attempt to murder and molestation.

Punjab's higher education minister Surjit Singh Rakhra also courted controversy on Saturday, saying that the Moga incident was "god's will".

He later retracted his comments, saying that he had not made them in connection with the Moga incident.

Senior Congress leader and leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly, Sunil Jakhar, said that the comments of ruling Akali Dal leaders and the actions of the Punjab government showed their insensitivity towards common people.

The Congress has said that if action was not taken against the owners of the Orbit Aviation company, the party would stop the company's buses from plying on Punjab's roads.

Following the protests, the Punjab police have started providing police pilot and escort vehicles to the Mercedes-Benz luxury buses being operated by Badal's company.

The company operates other air-conditioned and non-AC buses also and the staff of these buses have been known to violate rules and laws.

Sukhbir Badal had, on Friday, regretted the incident, claiming that the accused people would not be allowed to go scot-free just because the company was owned by him (Badal).

The opposition Congress has demanded that a case be registered against Badal and others on the lines of the cases registered in Delhi against the owners of vehicles in which rapes had taken place in the national capital.

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