An 18-year-old girl told Calcutta High Court on Tuesday that she had been raped by a man identified as a police informer and had also seen him rape a 16-year-old neighbour.
The police had refused to accept the rape complaint of the Beckbagan resident allegedly because the accused, Sheikh Shahzada, was an informer. A youth from the neighbourhood, Mir Amirul Islam, had immolated himself in front of Karaya police station to protest the alleged police inaction.
In response to an earlier order, both girls attended the court of Justice Sanjib Banerjee during the day.
When asked by the judge, the 18-year-old said: “Sheikh Shahzada of our area raped me several times. Not only that, I have seen him rape my neighbour (a 16-year-old).”
The deposition prompted the judge to ask government pleader Ashok Banerjee: “You have stated that the accused person was a police informer but you have not mentioned what was his level. How important was he? Why did the police try to shield him?”
The judge then asked the state authorities to file a report within two weeks in the form of an affidavit saying what action had been taken against the police officers who had allegedly tried to protect Shahzada.
“A senior police officer would have to find out whether there was any investigation against the accused police officers till date and what was the progress of the investigation. Both the state government and the police will have to file separate affidavits stating details about the senior police officer’s findings,” Justice Banerjee said.
The police accepted rape the complaint and arrested Shahzada after Amirul, alias Guddu, had set himself ablaze. The accused is in jail custody.
Guddu’s family had earlier complained that three cops from Karaya police station — sub-inspectors Vinod Kumar and Ranjit Yadav and constable Nasim Khan — had been threatening him with dire consequences if he did not stop pursuing the case against Shahzada.
Following Guddu’s death, the charge of abatement to suicide was slapped on the three cops. The trio have been suspended and a departmental inquiry is pending against them.
The judge asked the parents of the 16-year-old why they had not allowed the police to conduct a medical test on her to establish the allegation of rape. The girl and her parents submitted that they did not want any such test.
The proceedings were part of the hearing on a petition moved by Amirul’s mother seeking a CBI probe into her son’s death. The government pleader repeated his earlier submission: “The CBI is not equipped to handle so many cases. Recently, the investigating agency had admitted that it had no infrastructure to carry out so many inquiries.”
The judge then told Banerjee: “Don’t you think that an impartial agency, and not the police, should be asked to investigate the matter?” Banerjee didn’t respond.
The case will come up for hearing after four weeks.