Calcutta, Dec. 29: A 45-year-old died after being allegedly gang-raped and assaulted tonight in Barasat by a group of men who threw a powdered chemical into her husband’s eyes when he resisted.
The woman, a brick kiln labourer, was found unconscious on the banks of a pond near the kiln in Jagannathpur, 6km from Barasat town. She was admitted to Barasat Hospital, where she died.
Doctors said she had injuries all over her body. “We are waiting for the post-mortem report to learn the cause of death,” a doctor said.
Her husband, a labourer at the same kiln, was admitted to the same hospital but later shifted to RG Kar Hospital in Calcutta after his condition worsened.
The victim’s elder son said she had stepped out of home, about 100 metres from Swadesh Brick Kiln, to look for her husband when the attackers accosted her.
“It was 8pm and my father had not returned. So my mother went out looking for him. I later learnt that the attackers dragged her to the edge of the pond,” the son said.
“My father had meanwhile returned home. When he learnt that mother had gone looking for him, he too stepped out. He was walking towards the kiln when he heard mother’s cries.
“He rushed towards the pond and saw what was happening. He tried to save her but was overpowered by the three men. They threw some kind of chemical powder into his eyes.”
The husband said the chemical temporarily blinded him.
“I lost vision and strength. I cannot remember what happened after that. Somehow, I returned to my quarters. When my two sons reached the spot, my wife was unconscious and bleeding,” he said.
The elder son has lodged a complaint with Barasat police station. The police have begun an inquiry and detained four people.
“We have started investigating the murder and are waiting for the medical reports,” North 24-Parganas police chief Sugata Sen said. “We have detained four people for questioning.”