Mumbai: The Mumbai District Legal Services Authority (MDLSA) has approved Rs10 lakh compensation to the family of 18-year-old student, who was raped and murdered at a south Mumbai hostel around three months ago.
The compensation will be given under the state government’s ‘Manodhairya’ scheme for victims of rape, children who faced sexual offenses as well as acid attack victims (women and children). While 25% of the compensation amount has been given to the victim’s father, the remaining has been put in a fixed deposit for a 10-year period.
Victim's father calls compensation a 'sham'
Speaking to the FPJ, the victim’s father called the compensation a “sham”. “My daughter is no more. If the government is not able to give the entire amount now, why announce it? If the government really wants to give justice to the victims, it should change the scheme. The benefits should be provided immediately so that victims are able to put it to use,” he said.
Police investigators had submitted a proposal to MDLSA for monetary help in June along with the FIR, panchnama and details of the case. “We have been following up the matter since last month but the decision was awaited as the investigating officer (IO) was to submit the final report. The authority gave the approval after receiving it,” said an official from the state higher and technical education department.
June 6 horror
The victim, who hailed from Akola and was studying computer engineering at an institute in Bandra, was raped and murdered at the government-run Savitridevi Phule Women’s Hostel at Charni Road by a long-time hostel staff member on the intervening night of June 5-6. The accused later died by suicide by jumping in front of a running train.
In addition to Manodhairya funds, state education minister Chandrakant Patil, in his personal capacity, gave the father Rs5 lakh. The family has also been promised another Rs10 Lakh through the Chief Minister’s assistance fund, which is yet to be released. The victim’s brother has been given a job at a government engineering college in Akola on contractual basis.
The victim’s father has criticised the “slow” pace of police investigation and lack of any action against the hostel warden and other government officials. “The government is responsible for the fate of my daughter. The warden neglected her safety despite multiple complaints made against the accused. I am asking for her to be booked for dereliction of duty, but to no avail,” he said, adding, “We got the money, but didn't get the justice.”
Apart from the police case, the government has also conducted two separate inquiries into the incident as well as the security situation at all hostels run by the department. The probe panel has recommended filling vacant posts at hostels, appointing female security staff, installing CCTV cameras and sensitising the hostel staff, among other measures.