Mumtaz being taken to court on Saturday. Picture by Bhubaneswarananda Halder
Calcutta, June 9: Driver Mumtaz Khan has reportedly told police that he twice raped within a span of 10 minutes the homemaker who got into his car at the Exide crossing.
Yet, the father of a boy and a girl apparently felt assured he would get away because he did not think the lady would go to police — a pointer to the stereotypes that have struck deep roots and the inability of the law-enforcement system to be a deterrent.
The police have learnt that the 40-year-old driver also severely beat up Habibul Rehman, the taxi driver whom he had requested to take the wheel near the Chittaranjan Hospital. Habibul had tried to stop him from assaulting the woman.
The woman got into the Swift Dzire that Mumtaz was driving at 11pm near the Exide crossing. Mumtaz had slowed down and offered to drop her at Sealdah station for Rs 20.
Like several drivers in the city, who earn between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 a month, Mumtaz had wanted to earn some extra cash after his shift with a Sector V company.
Police sources said Mumtaz told his interrogators that instead of heading to Sealdah, he suddenly decided to drive to Chittaranjan Hospital and pick up Habibul so he could take the wheel. The woman was not familiar with the city’s roads.
“Till Entally, he was moving towards Sealdah…. Then he decided to head towards CIT Road to hire a driver to drive the car so that he could join the woman in the backseat,” one of the investigating officers told The Telegraph.
The police have not given details yet about the route Mumtaz’s car took that night.
The officer said: “Mumtaz has claimed that a sudden blinding urge to sexually exploit the woman prompted him to head for Rajarhat where he stopped the car, kicked Habibul out and raped the woman twice within 10 minutes.”
A psychologist said that such offences were sometimes committed by people suffering from what is loosely termed “impulse control disorder”.
“The hypothalamus (a region of the brain) works overtime in such people, releasing excess neurotransmitters that create a sort of temporary insanity. Those with the impulse control disorder tend to believe that they should act first without thinking of the consequences, which can be dealt with later,” psychologist Ranadip Ghosh Roy said.
“This blinding urge to be in the act without thinking of the consequences can happen even with a person without any criminal background.”
The police have learnt that Mumtaz — the father of an eight-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl — did not have a criminal record and lived at Neech Dankuni in Hooghly. He has been a taxi driver on the city’s streets for “several years”.
After work, Mumtaz would occasionally turn up at a relative’s place at Rabindra Sarani for the night, the police have learnt. He would sometimes spend the night in Gobra Station Road or Beniapukur where some of his cabbie friends live.
Mumtaz was picked up from Beckbagan early on Friday after the woman lodged a complaint with the police. She said Mumtaz had dumped her somewhere near the Beliaghata flyover.
Mumtaz has reportedly told the police that while throwing the woman out of the car later, he had thought that she would go to Sealdah station and catch a train back home. “I never thought she would go to the police,” he said.
An officer said: “It didn’t occur to him that the woman had picked up their names when he and Habibul were talking.”
Ghosh Roy drew attention to this detail, saying it was an indicator that Mumtaz had not bothered about the consequences.
This afternoon, Mumtaz was produced in the Sealdah court that remanded him in police custody till June 21. They are yet to recover the sum of Rs 3,000 and two gold bangles he had allegedly snatched from the woman.
The police are waiting for the medical reports. “We have also sought forensic help to scan the car. The experts are likely to finish work by next week,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner, crime.