Malda, Dec. 22: A 14-year-old Malda girl was allegedly raped by a farm labourer who shoved an iron rod down her throat and left her speech-impaired after luring her with the promise of warm clothes and a cycle.
A doctor at Malda Medical College Hospital, where the schoolgirl is admitted, said her vocal cord had been damaged. The brutality has some parallels with the Delhi gang rape on a bus last year that triggered a nationwide uproar.
“She has suffered serious injuries. We cannot say at the moment whether she will be able to speak again,” said medical college vice-principal M.A. Rashid. “An iron rod was thrust into her throat and taken out by the attacker. She cannot speak as her vocal cord has been damaged.”
Police have arrested Abhay Mondal, who was known to the girl as he worked with her mother, after the girl wrote “Abha” on a piece of paper at the hospital.
Abhay, 27, had taken the girl out of her home in Englishbazar around 7 last evening. The girl and her grandmother were in the house then as the teen’s mother had gone to Gajole, 50km away, for work. Till late tonight, the girl’s mother could not be contacted.
Malda police chief Kalyan Mukherjee said the girl’s grandmother and uncle had told the cops that Abhay was in a relationship with her mother, a widow.
Ashim Chowdhury, one of the five persons who took the girl to the hospital, said he was drinking tea at a shop around 9pm when the girl came there, her clothes soaked in blood.
“Four or five others were there in the stall. We were shocked to see the girl — her clothes were torn and blood-splattered. She was gasping for air. We immediately informed the police and arranged for an auto-rickshaw to take her to the hospital,” he said.
An officer said: “Abhay took her on a cycle to a mango orchard about 1km from her home and raped her.”
The officer said Abhay “shoved an iron rod down her throat and left her to die”.
Police chief Mukherjee said that as the girl, a Class VII student, was unable to speak, the cops had initially found it difficult to trace the accused after her uncle lodged an FIR.
“The girl was unable to speak because of the throat injury. She, however, managed to write ‘Abha’ on a piece of paper. We formed four teams led by sub-inspectors to look for this Abha. But we drew a blank initially,” Mukherjee said.
He said that after talking to the girl’s relatives, the police tracked down Abhay, who used to frequent her home. Abhay was arrested from his home in Kaliachak early today. The police said he had confessed to the crime.
Tourism minister Krishnendu Chowdhury visited the girl at the hospital today. “The culprit should get exemplary punishment,” he said.
A 17-year-old girl who had fled her home and taken shelter in Burdwan railway station was allegedly raped last night by a youth who had offered her a blanket and food.
The girl, who had fled home unable to bear her mother’s “scolding” after failing in the Madhyamik exam, said the youth took her to a lodge on the pretext of escorting her home and raped her.
The youth is absconding.