Sunday, 19 February 2012

Kolkata Police Arrested Two of the Rape Accused!The U-turn by the police though raises questions about the state government's role in the whole episode.The woman had initially alleged police insensitivity. However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee call

Kolkata Police Arrested Two of the Rape Accused!The U-turn by the police though raises questions about the state government's role in the whole episode.The woman had initially alleged police insensitivity. However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called her allegations a conspiracy against the Trinamool government. A state minister had even questioned the morality of the victim.
(A woman was raped at gunpoint by five men in a car. What's worse is that the police ignored her complaints when she mustered courage to report it.)

Two days after hinting that the four accused in the alleged rape of a woman in Kolkata had alibis, the police have now arrested two of those accused. The police now say the victim was assaulted by the four men. The police also said that the victim was getting threatening phone calls since the case came to light.

The U-turn by the police though raises questions about the state government's role in the whole episode.The woman had initially alleged police insensitivity. However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called her allegations a conspiracy against the Trinamool government. A state minister had even questioned the morality of the victim.

The mother of two was allegedly raped at gunpoint inside a moving car in Kolkata. She managed to track down her rapists on social networking website Facebook and take snapshots of their photographs to file a complaint against them.

The young woman was picked up in a car outside a night club and raped at gunpoint by five men as they drove around the Maidan after midnight on February 5. They shoved a pistol into her mouth and punched and kicked her, saying "Chillaogi to thok denge (We will shoot you if you scream)." She was dumped at Exide crossing about 90 minutes later, torn, bloodied and battered.

She claims she was offered a lift by the four men, whom she befriended at a nightclub on February 5.

Ridiculing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's statement that the incident of the alleged rape of an Anglo-Indian woman was aimed at maligning her government, the CPI(M) today said such statements were a symptom of 'paranoia' and aimed at passing the buck. "This is a symptom of paranoia and at the same time it is a question of passing the buck," CPI(M) central committee member Md Selim told a press conference on the sidelines of his party's ongoing 23 state committee meeting here. Stating that Banerjee was 'seeing red everywhere,' Selim said, "in the morning she sees red in the newspapers. After reading a news item, she turns red. Even in her dreams she sees the ghost of CPI(M). Throughout the day, the chief minister and her team sees conspiracy everywhere." He said the chief minister had been alleging conspiracy even in the recent hooch tragedy, infant deaths, farmers' suicide and the AMRI Hospital fire. "She should realise that she is no more in the opposition, that she is the leader of the state with Constitutional position." If any woman complained of rape, the government must immediately begin the due process of investigations like conducting the medical tests, finding the culprits and establishing their crime, he said, "it is not the business of the media, or any political leader, or the chief minister or the commissioner of police to rubbish the complaint." Selim said there was a clear Supreme Court directive that in such cases, the victim must not be subjected to character-assassination and the investigation process must not be influenced. "So, the commissioner of police, sitting at the police headquarters or the chief minister in the seat of power cannot blame, cast aspersions on the victim or import motive, till the investigation process is complete," he said.

The Kolkata rape victim, who claims to have tracked down her rapists on Facebook, was allegedly questioned overnight on Wednesday by the police. Her questioning began in the police station on Wednesday night and continued till 5 am on Thursday, according to sources.
  1. Kolkata rape: Mamata calls the incident contrived

  3. 2 days ago – The claim of a Anglo-Indian woman that she was raped in a car took a political hue when Mamata Banerjee termed the incident as "contrived".
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  5. www.ndtv.comCities
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  12. TIMES NOW is a Leading 24-hour English News channel that provides international news, business news, breaking news, world news, news, current news ...
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  14. timesofindia.indiatimes.comCity
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  16. Nightclubbing Kolkata woman raped; finds rapist on Facebook ...

  18. 2 days ago – Nightclubbing Kolkata woman raped; finds rapist on Facebook - A 37-year-old woman has alleged that she was raped at gunpoint in a moving ...
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  22. Kolkata rape case fabricated, says Mamata Banerjee on MSN Video

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  24. day ago
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  26. | Video | Kolkata rape victim humiliated by cops | India Videos ...

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  28. ► 3:12► 3:12
  29. days ago - 3 min
  30. The victim has claimed that she was mocked upon by cops when she tried to lodge a case against the perpetrators.
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  34. 2 days ago – A woman was raped in Kolkata by five men in a car. The operative and most important word here is 'raped' – a minor fact that seems to have ...

If this sends a chill down your spine, here's worse - the police ignored her complaints when she mustered courage to report the incident two days later and even mocked her for going to a night club. Two officers allegedly passed sleazy remarks at her at Park Street police station, when she was summoned for a forensic examination on February 14. And, it was a male police officer who 'escorted' her to the test, rather than a policewoman.

The victim is still determined to fight back and trawled Facebook to get the names and photographs of the suspects, but the police brushed it off. They did not even ask her for the clothes she wore on the night of the incident. TOI is withholding the pictures of the three suspects she claims to have identified.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that the complaint was filed late. "The police are trying their best. Damayanti Sen (joint CP, crime) and Javed Shamim (joint CP, HQ) are investigating the case. A similar incident had happened in Malda when I was there and I initiated action instantly."

The victim is a mother of two and was employed with a private firm till 2010 when she resigned to take care of her children. She was born and brought up in Kolkata and always considered it a safe city. When a few friends suggested going to a nightclub on Park Street on the evening of February 5, she hesitated a bit but agreed. "We were having a small party at Grail Club on Park Street. The night club was virtually next doors and I was a regular there till a few years ago. I gave in, thinking I should go and unwind," she told TOI.

Accompanied by three friends she walked into the discotheque around 11.30pm. Her friends left a little before 1 am but she decided to hang around for some more time. She was standing near the dance floor, sipping beer, when a young man came and introduced himself as Gidwani, she says.

"This guy seemed be in his early twenties. He sounded decent and polite. So I interacted with him. After some time he introduced me to three of his friends," she said. She remembers two names, Sharafat Ali and Azhar Ali. Around 2am, she told them that she was leaving as her daughters and mother would be waiting. Gidwani offered her a lift. She hesitated, but agreed, saying she would get off wherever she found a taxi. "They advised me I should not travel alone at that hour. Since none of them had behaved indecently I thought I was safe. How would I know that the saviours would turn tormentors in a few minutes," she said.

The victim, a mother of two, had alleged that policemen mocked her when she asked why no arrests had been made. The victim has been claiming that she tracked down her rapists on social networking website Facebook and took snapshots of their photographs to file a complaint against them.

The police picked up one man matching the prime suspect's profile and his friend for questioning on Thursday evening. They then called the victim to the police station to identify her attacker. When she couldn't identify him, she was questioned till 5 am.
Police sources say several discrepancies have been found in her account.

But immigration officers confirmed that one of them was in fact in Canada that night.

Reacting to the woman's allegation Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Damayanti Sen said, "We are treating this case with utmost seriousness and sensitivity and there has been no slackness in police investigations so far."

"We are probing the allegations of police misbehaviour with the victim. Strict departmental actions will be taken against anybody found guilty," Sen said.

Moreover, the victim, who alleged that she was raped at gunpoint in a moving car earlier this month, hasn't been able to identify her attacker. The victim's medical report is also awaited.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that the woman who had lodged a rape complaint with Park Street police station had "fabricated the story". "It was a fabricated story created to malign the government," Mamata said before leaving Writers' Buildings for the day. The CM's remark came minutes before police commissioner R K Pachnanda's press conference where he said that police would "impartially" investigate the case.

Taking the cue from the CM, her media advisor said that "several aspects are also being looked into - like cheating cases against the victim's father traced to Taltalla police station, how she used to earn her living, her family background and so on". He is also curious about the aides of Gabbar, now in jail, and their activities that sounded like a hint about their involvement in the matter. The media advisor said that police were probing "whether it was a money deal".

Transport minister Madan Mitra also kept harping on the fact that the victim had a few drinks. He wondered why a mother who go to a nightclub.

The remarks from the CM and the minister came as a surprise to many. Lawyer Bharati Mutsuddi, former member of the West Bengal Commission of Women, referred to an infamous case where a sex worker was raped by a constable. The Supreme Court had pointed out that a woman's character or her profession should not be taken into consideration. "It is by now a well established premise of the law. How can such questions be raised in the first place?" she asked. "A woman's profession or alleged cheating cases about her father, or her family background are completely irrelevant."

Mutsuddi also said that the chief minister's comments saying the complaint was fabricated, would influence the case, and hamper the "neutral investigation of the case".

But people refuse to take lessons from court orders. Member of the West Bengal Commission for Women Keya Chowdhury believes that a woman's "family background", (like alleged cheating cases against her father) should be considered an issue if she has lodged a complaint of rape. "Of course. Family background should also be considered. Everything about the woman has to be checked," Chowdhury said.

Lawyer Arunava Ghosh, raised questions about the veracity of such arguments. "When an investigation is on, no one can make any conclusive comments on the case. It is a way of trying to influence the case," he said. Ghosh pointed out that former police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee had made such a gaffe during the investigation of Rizwanur Rehman's death and was eventually removed from his post.

Ghosh also pointed out that during a rape case in 1993, when Jyoti Basu was at the helm, Mamata Banerjee had led a strong protest against police inaction. "It is so completely wrong that a woman's character and her family background and her livelihood is being discussed in this manner. Even if a complainant is a sex worker, she has every right to lodge a complaint of rape, and that should be inquired into without any questions raised about her profession," the lawyer said.

Writer Sunil Gangopadhyay said that such statements by government officials and police only go on to deteriorate the law and order situation. "Strong messages have to be given to offenders. It is completely outrageous to raise questions about a father's alleged crime and link it to the filing of a rape complaint by a daughter. How are the two related?" he asked.

The case was cracked after the police recovered CCTV footage from outside Park Hotel which showed the victim getting inside the car with the four men, as was originally claimed by the victim.

The police says it is possible that the men have criminal antecedents and add that they have reasons to believe that this is not the first time that the group has done such a thing. They claim that the four who have been identified "impersonated the names of the original suspects".
The two other accused are yet to be arrested. One of them is believed to have fled the state.

The alleged rape of an Anglo-Indian woman took another curious turn on Friday with the police, who had earlier found "discrepancies" in her statement, conceding that an offence must have occurred, though the West Bengal government with a woman as chief minister maintains it is a cooked up case.
Kolkata police had on Thursday maintained there were "certain technical discrepancies" in the case and termed it as an attempt to malign the police and the government, which was reiterated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and one of her ministers.
However, on Friday the police sang a different tune.
"Her (victim's) version was more or less same (what she had alleged in the complaint). Something must have occurred in the early hours of February 6 and police are thoroughly investigating all aspects," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Damayanti Sen said.
The police had on Thursday night taken the victim to the places she mentioned in her complaint and tried to recreate the alleged rape incident which occurred in the early hours of February 6.
Sen said the victim's medical tests conducted on February 14 at a city hospital mentioned "diffused bruises" on shoulders, neck and knee. The police official, however, maintained that they are inconclusive to prove any sexual assault.
The 37-year-old victim, a mother of two and a former call centre employee has alleged that she was raped on the night of Feb 5 in a moving car. She was also severely beaten. She filed a police complaint Feb 9 while her medical examination was conducted on February 14.
A car similar to the description given in the complaint was seized by the police and sent for forensic examination.
The police are also looking into allegations by the woman that she has been getting threat calls.
As per police reports, three of the accused named in the complaint have been found not to be present at the place of the alleged offence on that day.
The state government has cast doubts on the morality of the woman.
While the chief minister has claimed the entire story was cooked up, Transport Minister Madan Mitra Thursday wondered "what the woman - a mother of two and separated from her husband - was doing at a night club late in the night?"
On Friday too, a spokesperson of Writers' Buildings which houses the state secretariat is said to have asked if the 'victim' was involved in an escort service.
In a programme aired on a Bengali news channel, the anchor posed the question to the woman, which he said came from the spokesperson.
"I am not into any escort service. Even if I assume that I am, does it mean that I should be raped?" was the woman's reply.