The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Train to freedom from brute prison

Calcutta, Dec. 26: Debt apparently determined the market value of a housewife: Rs 5,000.

Dipu Ghosh, who owns a garment shop in Nadia, allegedly abducted the wife of his employee, who failed to repay Rs 5,000. Soma Biswas, 28, was brutally tortured for over a month till she fled from the clutches of her tormentors.

From a place that she cannot remember, Soma took a train to Howrah and bystanders' help to make it to the North Port police station yesterday.

Police at Nadia's Hanskhali, about 120 km from Calcutta, were still clueless about the whereabouts of Subol Biswas' wife, who disappeared more than a month ago.

The officers in Howrah heard out Soma, who had injury marks all over her, last night and sent her to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital for tests today.

An officer said: 'The doctors' report has confirmed that she was brutalised. A number of injuries caused by cigarette butts was found on her.'

Soma disappeared on November 10 and Subol lodged a missing complaint at the local police station.

An officer at Hanskhali, who came to know from his colleagues in Howrah how Soma went missing, said: 'Our search for her had proved futile.'

'We had registered the incident as a simple missing diary. The role of Rs 5,000 came to light when she narrated it before our counterparts in Howrah,' he added.

He added: 'We have launched a massive hunt for the trader, Dipu Ghosh. He will be in our custody in a day or two.'

A Howrah officer said for a long while last night Soma simply could not speak. 'She looked traumatised, even in the presence of policemen.'

When she did manage to speak, Soma told officers at the North Port police station that she was dragged into a car on November 10.

'I lost consciousness almost immediately. When I woke up, I found myself in a small room. I realised that the place was far from my village because the people there spoke a different language. After a week, I guessed it was somewhere in Orissa,' she told the police.

'Initially, I had no idea why I was picked up. Then I came to know that my husband had borrowed money from Dipu and failed to return it.'

Soma said: 'Every night, they used to abuse me physically. Whenever I screamed, they inflicted burn injuries with cigarette ends. They threatened to kill me if I raised hue and cry. I had no option but to bear the pain.'

Fortune favoured Soma yesterday. She said: 'There was no one guarding the door. I fled and ran through a narrow lane. It was a small town. With the help of some local people, I reached a station, from where I boarded a Howrah-bound train. I cannot remember the name of the station or the train.'

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