State president of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha, Locket Chatterjee, on Friday demanded CBI probe into the sexual assault and murder of a nine-yearold- girl in Siliguri and alleged that chief minister Mamata Banerjee was reluctant to intervene in the matter.

Condemning the murder, Ms Chatterjee met family members of Julie Mahato and assured them that she would help them in getting speedy justice, even as local people in the area raised slogans and demanded exemplary punishment for the accused. “We condemn the act and demand CBI investigations. The police are not intervening in this matter.

The family members of the girl want the accused to be hanged, but it has been seven days, no proper action has been taken,” Ms Charterjee said. “The CM being a women herself, is not looking into the matter that has to do with a girl, that too a minor.

What is the use of boasting about the Kanyshree scheme when women and girls are not safe here?” she further said. According to her, her party will lead a deputation to the governer and ask the Centre to take action. She also talked about how police arrested her, along with other leaders of the party, when she was leading a protest in Kolkata against the sexual assault and murder of Mahato.

“Police are arresting people who are protesting the incident, and they are charging batons on them, but they should have acted properly against those who are involved in the heinous crime,” Ms Chatterjee said.

It may be mentioned here that Surajit Sarkar, 25, was arrested on 28 January after Julie’s body was found on the terrace of a four-storey building they live at Janta Nagar in Ward-44 in Siliguri early on 26 January. The mother of the accused, Sumati Sarker, allegedly has links with the ruling Trinamul Congress.

The TMC has, however, denied that Mrs Sarkar, also the owner of the building where the crime took place, had anything to do with the party. Mourning Julie’s death and the lives in the Murshidabad bus accident, the BJP, under the leadership of Ms Chatterjee, staged a candle rally at Ghogomali here on Friday.

Meanwhile, eight persons, including a woman, who were arrested in connection with the attack on the police at Janta Nagar on 28 January, were granted bail by the Jalpaiguri court on Friday.