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Impaired girl alleges rape by auto driver

The house where the hearing impaired girl was allegedly raped. Picture by Nantu Dey

Raiganj, June 26: Police have arrested a 26-year-old autorickshaw driver after a hearing impaired schoolgirl, who is a state-level athlete, lodged a complaint of rape against him last evening.

According to police sources, the girl alleged that Ranjit Das, the autorickshaw driver had offered to drop her home when she was waiting at Siliguri More around 6.30pm on Sunday in pouring rain.

The girl, a student of Class IX, had waited at a bus stop for nearly an hour to return home from her tuition classes but no bus or autorickshaw had passed by.

She told the police that when she got into the autorickshaw, there were other passengers in the vehicle. When the autorickshaw stopped at a village near her home, the others got off.

Ranjit then told the girl he would drop her closer to her house.

In the police complaint, the girl wrote that instead of dropping her home, Ranjit took her to his house, saying that he could not see the road well in the blinding rain.

The girl said Das parked the autorickshaw and took her home. She said Ranjit’s mother was at home when she went in.

The victim said when the rain stopped around 9.30pm, she told Ranjit she would go home. The girl’s house is around 3km from Ranjit’s house.

But he locked the door of the house and raped the victim several times.

He let her go at dawn on Monday, the victim said in the complaint.

The police said the girl had participated in state-level athletics — she is a runner — at sports meets for the physically challenged.

The father of the girl said that when his daughter failed to return home on Sunday evening he had begun to worry.

“She usually returns from tuition around 8.30pm. When she did not, I went out in the rain to look for her. We spent a sleepless night and when she returned around 6am the next day and told us what she had been through, we filed a complaint with the police that evening,” her father said.

The mother of the auto-rickshaw driver, who was present in the house when the girl was allegedly raped, said she did not realise anything was amiss.

She was in deep sleep as she took medicines and did not hear anything, Ranjit’s mother said.

“I am not keeping well and the doctor has prescribed medicines that make me sleep. My son came with a girl and said that she was taking shelter from the rain and she would leave as soon as the rain stopped. I know nothing more,” she said.

North Dinajpur police superintendent Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the accused had been arrested.

“A medical test has been done on the victim and an investigation is on,” he said.

Das was produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate and remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody.