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Damayanti, team visit victim house

Damayanti Sen, the high court-appointed special officer in the Madhyamgram gang-rape and murder case, went to the house in the airport area where the 16-year-old girl was found in flames on December 23.

Sen, the deputy inspector-general (operations) of the CID, and a few officers she has handpicked for the probe spoke to residents of the neighbourhood, entered the room where the girl lived and took away one of its doors for tests.

Thursday’s visit to the neighbourhood was Sen’s first after she formed a team of 10 officers to probe the case. Among the officers Sen picked are Atanu Santra, who had investigated the firing in front of a Garden Reach college that killed a cop last February, and Kaushik Basak, who had probed the Sutia (North 24-Parganas) gang-rape cases in 2000.

Around 9.40am, five officers got off a police vehicle on Jessore Road, in front of a narrow lane that leads to the house where the 16-year-old girl and her family moved in after allegedly being hounded out of Madhyamgram. “We didn’t get in touch with the airport police station as we are working on our own,” said a CID officer.

The sleuths asked the owner of a sweet shop the way to the house. When they reached in front of the house, landlady Bela Sil came out from an adjoining house and pointed at the room where girl stayed.

“The team examined the room and took away one of its doors to ascertain whether the fire that burned the girl originated inside or outside the room,” said a CID officer.

The sleuths are yet to visit Madhyamgram where the girl used to stay before shifting to the airport area and where she had allegedly been gang-raped twice last October.

According to the complaint, she was gang-raped on October 26 and then again the next day while she and her father were returning home after lodging a complaint with Madhyamgram police station. The family alleged that persistent threats to withdraw the complaint had forced them to flee Madhyamgram.

The girl was admitted to RG Kar hospital with severe burns on December 23 and died on December 31. In her statement to the police she had alleged that a son of the owner of the Dum Dum house and one of his acquaintances had set her ablaze. The two and four youths accused of raping her are behind bars.

The high court assigned the case to Sen — who had probed the Park Street gang-rape case, identified the accused and got all but two of them arrested — following a petition by the girl’s father seeking a CBI probe.

Advocate-general Bimal Chatterjee opposed the plea and suggested that the case be handed over to Sen. The court assigned the probe to Sen and gave her the freedom to select her team. She has to file a report on January 10.