Krishnagar, Jan. 30: A deaf-mute housewife was raped at her home in Nadia's Tehatta about the same time as a women's panel was probing the violation of a visually-challenged girl in the same district.
Last month, the 19-year-old girl was raped by neighbourhood youths at Dhoradaha in Karimpur.
About 40 km away, at Gopalpur in Tehatta, the housewife ' also 19 ' was raped allegedly by local toughs two days ago. Her husband and two-year-old daughter were at a wedding reception in the locality when she was attacked.
Asit Sardar, the husband, lodged a complaint with Tehatta police station, about 150 km from Calcutta, last night. His wife, now in Shaktinagar district hospital in Krishnagar, signed on the complaint.
Police said Kumar Sardar, a rickshawpuller also known to be a rowdy, barged into the house with his associates and raped her.
'Kumar's associates gagged her by stuffing clothes in the mouth,' an officer said. All of them are absconding.
Asit said: 'My wife was born deaf-mute. She was alone at home and helpless when attacked. When I returned, she was writhing in pain.'
Neighbours helped him take her to the hospital.
Additional superintendent of police Biswarup Ghosh said she also suffers from epilepsy. 'That is why she is taking time to recover from her state of shock.'
He added that it would have been easier for the police to nab the culprits had the complaint been lodged immediately. 'The delay gave them time to flee.'
An officer said Kumar is related to Asit and that could be a reason behind his hesitation to go to the police. Kumar's rickshaw has been seized.
A four-member team from the state women's commission today visited Dhoradaha, 190 km from Calcutta, to inquire about the rape of the visually-impaired girl on December 16.
Her mother China Mandol had gone to the market when Bablu Biswas and Sanjay Chakraborty entered her house. The girl identified her tormentors by their voice.
The incident created a furore and the National Human Rights Commission sought a report from director-general of police Shyamal Dutta.
Though the police detained the two accused, the victim was reluctant to make a statement before a judicial magistrate. The family even moved to a remote village in adjacent Hogolberia, probably fearing revenge by the youths, said to be close to a local CPM leader.
The women's commission team led by its vice-chairperson, Rama Das, spoke to the victim's relatives and neighbours today. She said the commission would soon submit its report to the government.