New Delhi: The incident of sexual harassment in Punjab's Moga district is now taking a political turn as the entire opposition is demanding strict action against the Badal family which owns the private bus company.
After being questioned on several fronts Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal expressed grief over the death of a teenager who along with her mother were thrown off a bus that is owned by his family.
"Yes, unfortunately, the bus belongs to us, but I have never gone to this company's office. I will talk to Sukhbir about it," Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal told reporters.
The opposition wants a case to be filed against deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in this regard. Volunteers and workers of opposition Congress took to streets and shouted slogans against the Badal family.
Meanwhile in Lok Sabha Congress MPs demanded the suspension of Question Hour for discussing the matter. However, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not gave permission to cancel the question hour.
A 13-year-old girl reportedly died and her mother was seriously injured when they had to jump out of a moving private bus to avoid molestation by some youth along with the bus conductor near Punjab's Moga town.
The incident occurred on Wednesday evening.He said a police complaint has been registered under section 203, and two people have already been arrested in this regard while efforts are on to nab others.
"I will issue instructions to the concerned authorities to ensure that such an incident does not take place in future," he assured. "I will check who owns the bus. I read about the incident only in the papers this morning. I strongly condemn what happened. The trend of violence against women in the country must be addressed earnestly," she said.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is also the chief minister's daughter-in-law, strongly condemned the incident and said she would inquire about the company that owns the bus.
Hitting out at the ruling Badal family in the state, AAP MP Bhagwant Singh Mann from Punjab said: "It's very shocking. It is very shameful. It must be a petty incident for the Badal family that owns the bus. But a small girl lost her life. Such goons travel in their buses and eve tease. And the driver didn't stop even when that girl protested against being eve teased. If anything, the conductor helped them."
CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat noted that such recurrent incidents demonstrate government's nonchalance towards the issue of gender violence.
"It really shows that there is absolutely no lesson being learned by the government," she questioned.BJP MP Uma Bharati called for the police and the administration to stay alert at all times take action against such misconduct.
"Education institutions will have to create an environment in the country that people learn to respect women. And the society itself needs to fight such anti-social elements," she added.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of the BJP, the ruling party in alliance with the Badal's Akali Dal in Punjab, described the incident as "unfortunate" and welcomed a discussion if called for by the Opposition in the parliament.
"This incident is unfortunate and we extend our sympathy to the family of the victim. But such incidents are a subject of state's law and order. There is a tradition of not discussing such issues of state matter in the parliament. But if the opposition wants to discuss this issue, we welcome it," Naqvi told reporters outside the parliament.
Meanwhile the role of Moga Police is also under scanner as it registered the case against the accused twelve hours later.