Behrampore, Aug. 19: Two Trinamul workers accused of rape over a month ago are yet to be arrested even though residents of the Murshidabad village where they live said the duo were moving around freely.
The police said they had visited Kadamtala, 15km from Behrampore, several times but could not find Atish Mondal and Jadav Mondal.
The duo had allegedly raped a 30-year-old homemaker on the night of July 4 when her husband was not at home. They had also hit her on the hand with a scythe when she tried to resist.
Atish’s father Brindaban, a local Trinamul leader, had allegedly beaten up the woman’s husband, a mason, when she refused to withdraw her FIR. Brindaban was arrested and granted bail the next day.
Dilip Mondal, 30, a farmer and resident of Kadamtala, said: “We see Atish and Jadav in the village every day. Atish is seen at his broiler chicken shop in his house. Jadav, a small farmer, works in the field adjoining mine regularly.”
Another villager, Jatin Mondal, echoed Dilip. “After the complaint was lodged, the police had come looking for them once or twice. But they have stopped coming now,” he said.
The inspector in charge of Behrampore police station, Mahaimenul Haque, denied the villagers’ allegations. “The police had gone to the village several times in search of the accused persons but they were not found. We will arrest them as soon as we find them.”
Asked about the allegation that the police were dragging their feet on the case, Murshidabad police chief Humayun Kabir said: “This should not happen. I will inquire into the matter.”
A medical report has confirmed the woman was raped, police sources said.
“We were forced to leave the village because of murder threats by Atish, Jadav, Brindaban and other Trinamul workers. We are now staying in a rented house in Basantapur, 10km from our village. The police are yet to arrest the culprits,” she said.
The woman added: “I have heard that Mamata Banerjee will come to Behrampore on August 29. I will try to meet the chief minister and seek justice.”
On July 19, Brindaban and his associates had called her husband to a meeting at a local temple and ordered him to withdraw the complaint. When he refused, he was allegedly tied to a tree and beaten up.
District Trinamul president Mohammad Ali said: “Let law take its own course.”