Kolkata: In a shocking incident that brings back horrific memories of the December 2012 Nirbhaya rape case in the country’s capital, a 28-year-old mentally challenged tribal woman was brutally gang raped in Dehaband area under Kushmandi police station in West Bengal’s South Dinajpur district.
The perpetrators also thrust an iron rod into her genitals and bare hands into her private parts.
The woman was operated at the nearby Raigunj hospital, but was later shifted to Malda Medical College and Hospital after her condition deteriorated. According to hospital sources, she remains in a critical condition and is battling for her life.
While the doctors are trying to save the victim’s life, the district administration and police of South and North Dinajpur as well as Malda remain tight lipped. “The victim was attended to by the doctors here and they have now decided to shift her to Malda Medical College. I cannot say anything more at this point of time,” said Prakash Mirdda, the chief medical officer of health in North Dinajpur on Monday.
According to village residents, the victim had gone to a local fair on Sunday when she was dragged away by a few men and gang raped under a bridge. She was later rescued by the residents, who heard her screams and informed the police.
So far, there have been no arrests, although two persons have been detained for questioning in connection with the incident.
Incidentally, state chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to visit Malda district on Tuesday and Raigunj on Wednesday as part of her on-going district tour.
Senior police officers in South Dinajpur were unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts by News18. Locals alleged that the administration isn’t forthcoming about the gruesome incident in view of Mamata’s visit with security arrangements for the chief minister currently topping their priority list.
Opposition parties, including the CPI-M, condemned the incident. CPI-M leader and Raigunj MP Mohammed Salim said, “It’s even more gruesome than the Nirbhaya incident. In the Nirbhaya case, the victim was alone and targeted inside a moving bus. But this happened right in the middle of the village. People from all walks of life who value human life and freedom must protest against such perversion.”
It bears recall that in November last year a minor tribal girl, a school student, was allegedly gang raped and murdered in North Dinajpur. Three people were arrested in connection with that case.