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TMC candidate Bhaichung Bhutia meets Teesta rape victim

PRADIP LOHAGUN
KALIMPONG :  TMC candidate Bhaichung Bhutia today was in the Kalimpong sub-divisional hospital to meet the three-year-old victim who was sexually assaulted on April 18 by her neighbour in Teesta Bazaar. He also met the victim’s parents and consoled them. Strongly condemning the incident, the former footballer said the harshest of punishments should be awarded to the culprit. “Personally and also on behalf of my party, I strongly condemn the incident. The perpetrator of such a heinous crime must be given the harshest of punishments.” He also called on other political parties, social organisations and individuals to speak up against the dastardly act. Expressing faith in the judiciary system of delivering justice at the earliest, Bhaichung said, “The law must be made more stringent especially if minors are the victims. An exemplary job must be done in this case by handing out the most severe of punishment to the offender.” In response to a query, he said the primary concern now is the quick recovery of the victim, while suggesting the child and her parents must be provided with expert counseling.

He also said the TMC will take all possible initiatives to guarantee security and relief to the victim and her family. Bhaichung feels the GTA must step forward to provide support to the victim’s family. During an interaction with media persons later, the TMC candidate said he will work for the betterment of the hills if he emerges victorious. “I have joined the TMC now. Before joining the party, I had worked for the hills through football and will keep working for the region in the future too,” he pledged. According to Bhaichung, he visited all the areas of the Darjeeling hills during campaigning and has taken note of the people’s problems and grievances. He said he is more determined to serve people through politics on getting first hand information about the people’s problems. Speaking in his habitual sportsman-like lingo, Bhaichung said the TMC has not taken any of its rivals lightly and viewed each opponent as a tough challenger. Stating that elections are not just a matter of winning or losing, Bhaichung said he is satisfied that the hill people participated in the voting process uninhibitedly. He claimed a democratic environment has been restored in the hills and gave his party the credit for ensuring it.
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