Barasat, Jan. 19: Two young Bangladeshi sisters who crossed the Ichhamati river to sneak into into North 24-Parganas have told BSF personnel that they were raped by two boatmen on the way.
A BSF officer today said jawans patrolling the Jhowdanga border post in Swarupnagar yesterday saw the two women, aged 18 and 20 years, sitting on the banks of the river around 9pm and crying.
The women were headed for Calcutta, where they had been allegedly promised jobs in a beauty parlour by a “kaku” (uncle).
“The women told us they were sisters and hailed from Chittagong. They were headed for Calcutta where they had been promised jobs at a beauty parlour by an acquaintance whom they referred to as ‘kaku’,” a BSF officer said.
The name and identity of the person who had promised the women jobs were not immediately known.
The two women have been handed over to Gaighata police, who have recorded their statements. The sisters were today sent to Bongaon sub-divisional hospital for medical examination.
A police officer in Gaighata said: “The two women told us they did not have valid documents. They got into the boat at Daulatganj on the Bangladesh side of the river to reach India in the dead of night. They said they were raped on the way by the two boatmen who left them on the banks of the Ichhamati at Jhowdanga.”
A boat ride from Daulatganj to Jhowdanga usually takes around 45 minutes.
The officer added: “We have recorded their complaints of rape and sent them to hospital. But legal action will be taken against them for illegal entry into India.”
Quoting rules, the officer said the complaints of rape, which happened on the Bangladesh side of the river, would have to be forwarded to the Union home ministry, which in turn would place it before the external affairs ministry.
“The external affairs ministry will then take up the matter with Dhaka,” the police officer added.
The officer said a search was on to trace the acquaintance referred to as “kaku” by the two women.
“We are also looking into whether any racket of illegal immigration is operating,” he added.
According to BSF sources, North 24-Parganas has over 400km of land and river border with Bangladesh. About 10,000 people sneak into India through this border every year.
Police officers said Swarupnagar was one of the major points of illegal entry into India from Bangladesh.