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Guest house rape attempt

- Guards arrested for allowing prime accused to escape

An intruder assaulted and tried to rape a woman who was staying at a guest house in central Calcutta late on Monday.

Lochan Yadav, who works as a contract labourer, had allegedly posed as an attendant to gain entry to the woman’s room in the guest house in Chitpur Gali in the Jorasanko police station area. Two security guards at the main gate who intercepted him but let him flee have been arrested.

A case of attempt to rape has been started against Yadav, who is absconding.

The victim is from Assam and owns a garments business, said police sources. She visits Calcutta every two months and had checked in on Monday morning, said police sources.

“She comes here once in two months and always stays here,” said an official of the guest house. “Like her previous stays, she was staying alone in room number 20 on the second floor. Around 11.45pm, alerted by her screams, we rushed to her room and saw evidence that someone had entered and assaulted her.”

The four-storey guest house has 69 rooms, most of which were occupied when the alleged rape attempt occurred.

Sources said Yadav had knocked on the woman’s door claiming he was from room service. The unsuspecting woman opened the door, after which Yadav forced his way in.

When the guest house staff and some other guests ran to her rescue, Yadav ran down the flight of stairs and was about to pass through the main exit when he was accosted by the guards. “Surprisingly, they let him go,” said an officer of Jorasanko police station.

“The two guards — Bharat Mondal and Sukhdev Das — have been arrested,” said joint commissioner of police (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.

“A case of attempt to rape has been started against Lochan, who is absconding. We are probing whether the guards were hand-in-glove with him,” Ghosh added.

On Tuesday, the woman left for her home after lodging a police complaint, accompanied by her husband, who came down from Assam. “She was in a state of shock,” said a member of the guest house staff.