Alipurduar, Aug. 28: A Jalpaiguri highway has proved more dangerous than Delhi for a young woman who returned to Bengal from the capital for her wedding.
The 22-year-old office assistant was allegedly gang-raped by two bikers who offered her a lift on seeing her standing with groceries on the road on Tuesday night.
The woman is in hospital with a fractured chin and could not speak to police till this evening. The police have pieced together a tentative account on the basis of conversations with people present in the vicinity.
The woman, whose father is a tea garden worker near Alipurduar, was waiting on NH31 for a neighbour who was supposed to take her home at Binnaguri on his cycle.
Since the neighbour later said he could not arrive on time, the police assume that the two bike-borne men offered her a lift a little past 7pm. The neighbour found the woman in a deserted stretch 3km from the spot where she was last seen, crying out in pain.
“They took her to a bush and allegedly gang-raped her. We suspect they had tried to throttle her as there are fingerprints on her neck,” a police officer said.
The police said they would verify if the bikers were known to the girl.
Doctors at North Bengal Medical College Hospital (NBMCH) said this evening that the girl was out of danger but might require surgery to set her chin right.
Victor Bose, a social worker who was among those who took the woman to the Birpara hospital, said: “Around 9pm, we took her to Birpara State General Hospital but for an hour or so, there was no doctor to attend to her. She was unconscious. Finally, around 11pm, her family took her to NBMCH. She is supposed to get married soon. That’s why she had returned home.”
The woman’s fiance lives in Binnaguri, Bose said. The families of neither the girl nor the fiance could be contacted.
James Kuzur, the additional superintendent of police (headquarters) of Jalpaiguri, said: “Vegetables and meat were scattered at the spot, which point to a struggle. Preliminary investigation suggests she was sexually assaulted. We also suspect that the miscreants tried to kill her.”