An underage tribal girl was gang-raped by a TMC leader and his accomplices after the victim was ‘sold’ to them by her father. As per reports, the incident took place in the Sian Muluk area in Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal.
The police have arrested four people, including the Trinamool Congress panchayat member Diptiman Ghosh and the victims’ father in connection to the case. According to the family members, the victim’s father named Babul Soren had borrowed a sum of over ₹1 lac rupees from the TMC leader.
Unable to pay off the debt, he handed over his minor daughter to Ghosh on March 31 this year. The girl was then brutally gang-raped by the accused and his accomplices, who are residents of the same village.
According to a report by TV9 Bangla, the girl was initially raped by local youth on March 31, who intimidated the victim into silence. As per Anandabazar Patrika, the local youth is none other than the TMC leader Diptiman Ghosh.
The girl went to her maternal aunt’s house in Burdwaman and underwent treatment. Owing to societal stigma, the victim refused to file a complaint. On returning back to Bolpur, she was again gang-raped by the TMC leader and three others. TV9 Bangla and Anandabazar Patrika both reported that the girl’s father was also involved in the heinous crime.
The victim then narrated her ordeal to her cousin’s sister, and agreed to file a complaint at the Bolpur Thana. A First Information Report (FIR) was registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 376D (Gang rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), and relevant sections of the Prevention of Child Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO).
The accused were sent to police custody by a local court on Wednesday (April 13). SP (Birbhum) Nagendranath Tripathi informed, “Investigation is underway. Charges have been framed under several sections. The girl is now admitted to a hospital.”
In his defence, the TMC leader claimed, “I am being falsely implicated in the case. I am innocent and being framed.” The girl was initially admitted to the Bolpur Sub-Divisional hospital, post which she was transferred to the Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital (SSKM) in Kolkata.
As per a Zee24 Ghanta report, the heinous crime has left the victim traumatised. Citing hospital sources, the news channel reported that the underage girl is unable to speak about her ordeal. She even refused to eat the food provided to her.
The hospital authorities have arranged for a psychiatrist, and gynaecologist to examine the mental and physical state of the victim. The doctors performed surgery on Tuesday (April 12) night to stop the excessive bleeding that the victim had to endure after the crime was committed. The girl is still said to be in a traumatised state.
TMC and its record in crimes against children and women
On Wednesday (April 13), Trinamool Congress Panchayat member Avijit Mondal was arrested for molesting, torturing and attempting to rape a differently-abled woman. The incident took place at Kalukhanra village in West Midnapore. The area falls under the jurisdiction of the Pingla police station.
The differently-abled woman had gone to her elder sister’s house in Kalukhara village. The girl was abducted and sexually abused by Mondal when she had gone to the pond to wash the dishes. On the following day, the victim was examined at Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.
A complaint was filed against the TMC members by the family, post which the accused was nabbed. He was produced before a Midnapore court and sent to 3 days in police custody.
Earlier on April 4 this year, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed in the Shyamnagar locality in Hanskhali Block Number- I in Nadia district of West Bengal. The accused was named as one Brajgopal, the son of Trinamool Congress (TMC) Gajna Gram Panchayat member Samar Gowla.
Reportedly, the accused had invited the victim to his house under the pretext of birthday celebrations. The girl became unwell, following which she was rushed to a local doctor. She passed away the following day.
According to the family members of the victim, the girl died due to excessive bleeding. They alleged that she was raped by the son of the TMC leader. The family members also claimed that the TMC leader Samar Gowla and other party workers forcibly cremated the girl’s body at a local crematorium.
The incident had created political upheaval in the State, with the TMC supremo and incumbent CM Mamata Banerjee trying to trivialise allegations of rape and murder made by the victim’s family.